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CENNINO D’ANDRE/\ CENNINI 
DA COLLE DI VA.L D’ELSA 


IL LIBRO’ DELL ARTE 


VOLUME TWO 
THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 





PUBLISHED ON THE LOUIS/ STERN MEMORIAL FUND 





CENNINO D’ANDREA CENNINI 
DACOLLE. DIV VAL DELSA 


ISBIbRO DELL ARTE 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY 
DANIEL V. THOMPSON, JR. 


ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THE HISTORY OF ART 
IN YALE UNIVERSITY 





NEW HAVEN - YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS 


LONDON - HUMPHREY MILFORD + OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 
1933 





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Copyright, 1933, by Yale University Press 
Printed in the United States of America 





All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced. in 
whole or in part, in any form (except by reviewers for the 
public press), without written permission from the publishers. 





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TO 
EDWARD WALDO FORBES 


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PREFACE 


HE Italian text of the Libro dell’ Arte has been edited four 
times.’ It has been translated twice into English, twice into 
German, and once into French. 

The first translations, Mrs. Merrifield’s (1844),? and Victor Mottez’ 
(1858),° were based upon the (1821) edition of Tambroni.* As has 
been shown,’ Tambroni’s version was incomplete and inaccurate. The 
manuscript which he edited® was an eighteenth-century copy, and its 
original,’ our L, has since been published. L, and another independent 
manuscript," our R, unknown to Tambroni, formed the bases of an 
improved edition published (1859) by Carlo and Gaetano Milanesi.® 
Three translations were made from this: the first, by Albert Ilg,*° 





1 Giuseppe Tambroni, Di Cennino Cennini trattato della pittura, messo in luce la 
prima volta con annotazioni (Rome, 1821). 

Carlo and Gaetano Milanesi, Il libro dell’arte o trattato della pittura, di Cennino 
Cennini da Colle Valdelsa; di nuovo pubblicato con molte correzioni e coll’aggiunta di 
più capitoli tratti dai codici fiorentini (Florence, 1859). A considerable extract from 
this edition appears in Carlo Linzi, Tecnica della pittura e dei colori . . : (Milan: 
Hoepli, 1930). 

Renzo Simi, Cennino Cennini da Colle Valdelsa, Il libro dell’arte. Edizione riveduta 
e corretta sui codici (Lanciano: R. Carrabba, 1913). 

Daniel V. Thompson, Jr., ed., Cennino d'Andrea Cennini da Colle di Val d’Elsa, I/ 
Libro dell’Arte (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932), I, Italian Text. See the 
Preface of that volume, pp. ix—xiii, for an account of the prior editions of this work. 

2 A Treatise on Painting, written by Cennino Cennini in the year 1437 [This is an 
error: see I, Preface, p. ix.]; and first published in Italian in 1821, with an introduction 
and notes, by Signor Tambroni: containing practical directions for painting in fresco, 
secco, oil, and distemper, with the art of gilding and illuminating manuscripts adopted 
by the old Italian masters. Translated by Mrs. [Mary Philadelphia] Merrifield. With an 
introductory preface, copious notes, and illustrations in outline from celebrated pictures 
(London, 1844). 

3 Le livre de l’art ou traité de la peinture par Cennino Cennini . . . traduit par 
Victor Mottez (Paris and Lille, 1858). A later edition (Paris, 1911) was issued to 
include the chapters first published in 1859 by the Milanesi. 


4 Cit. supra. Bip bxetace;s pike 8 Rome, Ottobonian MS 2974. 
7 Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, MS 23, P. 78. 
8 Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, MS 2190. 9 Cit. supra. 


10 Das Buch von der Kunst oder Tractat der Malerei des Cennino Cennini da Colle 
di Valdelsa. Ùbersetzt, mit Einleitung, Noten [most useful ones] und Register versehen 
. + + (Vienna, 1871). 


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x THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


formed the first volume in the Vienna series of “Quellenschriften fiir 
Kunstgeschichte und Kunsttechnik des Mittelalters und der Renais- 
sance.” The next translator, Lady Christiana J. Herringham (1899),” 
found Ilg’s German version “a most valuable book of reference in 
translating difficult passages.”’* The last translation, that of Willi- 
brord Verkade (1913),’* preserves the best features of its predecessors, 
and adds others of its own. I acknowledge freely and gratefully my 
indebtedness to all. The inadequacy of Tambroni’s edition largely 
vitiates the translations made from it; and faults in the Milanesi’s edi- 
tion are reflected in the translations which it underlies. Though my 
publication of the Italian text’* represents no such major improve- 
ment as the Milanesi’s wrought over Tambroni’s, it seems to me a 
sounder basis for translation than has hitherto been available. 

The Milanesi edition rendered obsolete Mrs. Merrifield’s transla- 
tion from Tambroni; and Lady Herringham’s Book of the Art,”° in- 
corporating the Milanesi’s improvements, became the standard Eng- 
lish version of Cennino’s work. I venture to criticize it here, not in 
dispraise of her translation, for it has shown its merit, but rather to 
justify a new one. 

As an example of the disabilities inherited from the Milanesi 
may be cited the following passage: “Vuole essere la colla più forte 
di verno che di state; ché di verno il metter di oro vuole essere il 
tempo umido e piovoso.”** Lady Herringham recognized that this 
could not be translated as it stood, for it is nonsense; so she took liber- 
ties with it. Vuole essere la colla più forte becomes “Size is stronger”; 
and chè di verno, “and in winter.” The resulting translation makes 
sense, but not the sense of the original. Turning to the source manu- 
scripts, we find! that L has: Vuole essere la cholla piu forte di verno 


11 The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini, a contemporary practical treatise on 
quattrocento painting. Translated from the Italian, with notes on mediaeval art methods 
. . . (London, 1899). The subtitle is based on the erroneous supposition that the Libro 
dell’ Arte was composed in 1437: what Cennino describes is trecento painting of the 
Giottesque Gaddi tradition. 

12 [bid., Preface, p. v. 

13 Des Cennino Cennini Handbiichlein der Kunst, neutibersetzt und herausgegeben 

. . (Strassburg: Heitz, 1916). 
14 Cit. supra, I. 15 Cir. supra. 
16 Milanesi, ed. cit., p. 75; Herringham, op. cit., p. 95. 17 See I, 68, Il. 17, 18. 


PREFACE xi 


che di state che di verno; but di verno che was canceled, and with it, 
by mistake, the final di state. Judicious editing thus gives the proper 
reading: Vuole essere la cholla piu forte di state che di verno. That is, 
“Size wants to be stronger in summer than in winter.” And this every 
good craftsman knows, none better than Lady Herringham herself. 

Even as a translation of the Milanesi text, however, Lady Herring- 
ham’s work is not without flaws. Sometimes through misconception 
based on Mrs. Merrifield’s version,'* sometimes through carelessness, 
she falls into error. Thus, in Chapter 33,"° she translates aguzza .. . 
si come stanno i fusi as “sharpen . . . as if they were tin.” Like Mrs. 
Merrifield, in Chapter 136, she confuses smeriglio with smeraldo. In 
describing the breathing tubes for casting from life, she translates più 
aperte che di sotto as “more open below”; and siero spesso forate dal 
mezzo in su con busetti piccoli as “let a small hole be pierced through 
the middle of each.”?° It is not necessary to extend this list, and I am 
too conscious of the possibility of similar errors in my own work to 
wish to bring a heavy indictment against my predecessor. 

Some defects in the Herringham translation must be attributed to 
a lack of understanding, generally shared by the others. So in the case 
of stagno dorato, in Chapters 95-99 and elsewhere, the distinction be- 
tween “golden” and “gilded” has been missed.’* In Chapter 62 the 
translation “lye or a little roche alum,” for lisciva e un poco d'allume 
di rocca, may be due to carelessness; but the readings, in the same 
chapter, “rich and deep,” and “deep” alone, for violante in the origi- 
nal, betray the translator’s failure to recognize that violante is a color 


18 See Herringham, op. cit., Preface, p. v. 

19 References are to the chapter numbers of Lady Herringham’s edition, which are 
given in arabic numerals. 

The Roman numerals used for chapter numbers in this volume are printed in the 
form in which they appear.in the MSS, as that was adopted for the volume of text: the 
only peculiarities are the use of “IMI” for “IV,” “VIII” for “IX,” “XXXX” for 
“XL,” and “LXXXX” for “XC.” It seems more important that numerals in this volume 
should correspond with those in Volume I than that the few affected by these peculiari- 
ties should be given the more familiar forms. 

20 See below, p. 125. 

21 See n. 3, pp. 61 ff., below. In general I have translated mezzere d’oro as simply, 
“gild,” except in one or two cases where the context requires a literal translation. This, 
I confess, is not for any fault in the expression, “lay with gold,” but rather to throw 
into relief this very distinction between mettuto d’oro, “gilded,” and dorato, “golden,” 
vermeillonné. 


xii THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


term and means “inclining to violet.” The translation of urina as 
“wine,” in Chapter 153, is doubtless a typographical error, as is “beat” 
for “heat,” in Chapter 173. 

Another class of error, all too easy to fall into, must be mentioned. 
From Chapter 47 Lady Herringham has omitted the translation of 
the sentence “La sua tempera non vuol d’altro che di colla”; from 
Chapter 107, “E tria bene queste cose insieme, come puoi sottilissima- 
mente”; from Chapter 138, “E così a poco a poco va’ brunendo un 
piano prima per un verso, poi”; and, farther on, “per altro verso”; 
while from the chapter on gilded glass she has left out the important 
direction “lascialo seccare sanza sole per spazio d’alcuni dì.”?? 

Lady Herringham makes no pretense of consistency in the trans- 
lation of technical terms. Her freedom in this respect robs her transla- 
tion of much weight, and often leads her astray. One or two instances 
must suffice as illustrations here. “Fatness” and “leanness” of pig- 
ments are qualities which are sometimes found puzzling. Without 
entering upon any elaborate discussion, I may say that wet clay would 
be called “fat,” and wet sand, “lean.” The corresponding adjectives in 
Italian are grasso and magro. Lady Herringham translates grasso now 
as “unctuous,”°° which is good; now as “full bodied,”?* which is less 
good; again as “opaque,”*® which is not good at all; and, finally, as 
“rich,”°° which is, at the best, ambiguous. She translates magro quite 
consistently as “transparent,” even in the phrase “transparent and 


925 


drying,” in translation of magra e asciutta, to characterize sinoper,?” 
which is as opaque as a pigment can be. 

These examples of defects in Lady Herringham’s rendering are ad- 
vanced, let me repeat, reluctantly, with all gratitude and respect for 
the good qualities in her work, only to justify the publication of a new 
translation. It is not to be supposed that my interpretation of the text 
will prove final in all details, but I hope that it will be found to repre- 
sent the sense of Cennino’s treatise more accurately than previous 
translations have done. Such improvement as may be found in it is 
due partly to close familiarity with the text itself; partly to familiarity 

22 See below, p. 112. 23 Ed. Herringham, Chapter 45. 


24 Ibid., Chapter 51. 25 Ibid., Chapter 37. 
26 Ibid., Chapter 37. 27 Ibid., Chapter 38. 


PREFACE Xlil 


with other medieval tracts of similar nature; but the real business of 
translation is a “laboratory” matter, involving a knowledge of each 
»zule in practice. This knowledge Lady Herringham possessed in some 

degree. If my translation reveals a better understanding, the credit be- 
longs to others: first, and in greatest measure, to Edward Waldo 
Forbes, to whom these volumes are inscribed, who first expounded 
Cennino to me, and whose researches are embodied in every page; 
then to the masters under whom, through the liberality of Mr. Forbes, 
I carried on my study: Nicolas Lochoff, the peerless copyist of early 
Italian painting, and Federigo Ioni, master of archaic styles and meth- 
ods; and, finally, to the students who have carried out Cennino’s pre- 
cepts under my direction, and translated for me—with their paint- 
brushes. 

The Libro dell’ Arte was “made and composed,” its author tells us,”* 
“for the use and good and profit of anyone who wants to enter the 
profession.” I have accordingly tried in my translation to give first 
place wherever possible to the convenience of the practicing student 
and painter. It must remain for another volume to analyze Cennino’s 
materials and methods in detail; but every effort has been made in 
this to translate them into the resources of modern commerce and the 
idiom of modern craftsmen. Thus, minio is translated as “red lead,” 
and verzino, as “brazil.”*® The braccio and the spanna having passed 
out of fashion, I give equivalents in feet or inches, rather than translate 
them.*° The “finger,” as a measurement, is too indefinite to be reduced 
to any fraction of an inch, but is not hard to understand; nor are 
those rule-oi-thumb proportions, “beans,” “lentils,” etc. Measures of 
time are dealt with similarly: thus, xv d?, o venti becomes “two or 
three weeks.” By an extension of the principle, azzurro della Magna 
appears as “azurite,” ratnersthan “German blue” or, as formerly in 
English, “asure of Almayne”; and verde azzurro, as “malachite”: 
these being the names not of modern pigments, for they are not found 
generally in trade, but of the minerals from witich, as I believe, they 





28 See below, p. 1. 29 See n. 5, p. 39, below», 
80 These equivalents are based on a braccio of twenty-three inches, and + Sanna of 
nine. 5. 


31 See NED, s.v. “azure,” 2: sub anno 1502. 


xiv THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK \ 
were made, and may be made today. In the same way, campeggiar 
is translated as “lay in”; raffermare, as “crisp up”; ritrovare, as “shape 
up,” etc., in the belief that those expressions represent the nearest 
equivalents to Cennino’s terms which can be found in colloquial use 
by modern English-speaking painters.” 

There are many couplets in the text, such as triare o ver macinare, 
tavola o vero ancona, bicchiere o ver miuolo, the terms of which have 
generally been regarded as synonyms.** I do not think that they are 
quite that, though it is often difficult to define the members. Cen- 
nino is more likely to indicate a synonym by cioè than by o vero, and 
I have followed his practice strictly. Thus, triare is translated “work 
up,” and macinare, “grind.” They are almost interchangeable, but 
triare is a little more likely to be used than macinare when the case 
calls for grinding dry, “triturating.” Tavola is translated “panel,” and 
ancona, being a word in good standing in our fine-arts vocabulary, is 
kept in the Italian form. Those terms are not synonymous: the 
“ancona” is a compound panel.** “Goblet” and “glass” serve to dis- 
tinguish muglizolo and bicchiere, though perhaps the terms are really 
interchangeable. 

In some cases, Cennino’s materials have no modern commercial 
equivalents. This is true of his bianco San Giovanni, which I translate 
as “lime white.”*° In other cases, such as his siropia, the meaning is 
too general to be reduced to any single commercial term. The word 
“sinoper” is not in common use by painters now, but I have pressed ik 
into service, because, like its cognate sinopia, though a generic term, 
it may be used in a specific sense. To translate sinopia, “Venetian red,” 
would be to fix arbitrarily upon one of many perfectly good earth reds, 
all of which Cennino would unhesitatingly have called sinopia; and 
that to no good purpose, for there are almosst as many shades of Vene- 


82 That is, of course, barring downrighic slang; for the best translation of raffermare 
is “bake.” I have often been inclined. xo use slang of this sort, and should have done so, 
but that fashions in it change <0 quickly. Some idioms almost defy translation without 
it. Among these is one~inuch used to suggest progressive action: “Va’ raffermando,” 
“Va’ toccando,” etx. 1 have sometimes devised means to translate this, but usually a 
simple imperatuve has to serve. Much more like the original would be the studio slang: 
“Creep utp on it, crisping it up”; and, “Come up on it with your accents.” 

33 ‘See Tambroni, ed. cit., Preface, p. xvi. 34 See n. 1, p. 3, below. 

35 See n. 2, p. 23, below. 


PREFACE XV 


tian red in modern trade as there are colormen who sell that universal 
pigment. The mixed color, verdaccio, likewise, is not a definite quan- 
tity, but merely a dark, greenish or brownish tone for outlining and 
shading. The Italian expression seems to fill a want in our painters’ 
lingua technica, for it is readily adopted by students. 

There are a few materials which cannot be identified as yet with per- 
fect certainty. Among these are giallorino and arzica, both yellows: 
the former a fairly bright, opaque one; the latter transparent and 
fugitive. Rather than risk a faulty identification, I have kept Cennino’s 
names for them. Another question of identity arises in connection 
with vernice liquida; but whatever its ultimate solution, the phrase 
must be translated here as “liquid varnish.” 

In my efforts to preserve the professional character of this hand- 
book, I have been forced into some awkwardness at times. Cennino’s 
verdeterra has no other equivalent among English-speaking painters 
than the French name ¢erre-verte. This has become, in certain quar- 
ters, so far anglicized that I am tempted to create the spelling “tur- 
vurt,” to conform with the pronunciation common in trade. In the 
same way, the Italian gesso has been assimilated to our tongue as sub- 
stantive, verb, and adjective. It has bred up a horrid trio: “gessos,” 
“gessoed,” and “gessoing,” all of which will, I regret to say, be met 
with in these pages. If they give offense, be it remembered that the 
root word has still further potentiality for evil! I have consented to the 
extension of its grip upon us, and kept not only gesso, but two ad- 
jectives from the Italian as well: grosso and sottile. For this my justi- 
fication follows. 

The obvious translations, “thick” and “thin,” are closed to us, for 
a reason which does not first appear. The modern practice of gessoing 
(absit injuria!), as performed commercially by frame-makers and the 
like (who have the decency to call it “whitening”), involves the use of 
“thin white” and “thick white,” which might be supposed to paral- 
lel Cennino’s gesso sottile and gesso grosso, but this is not the case. 
Modern “thin white” corresponds to Cennino’s second preliminary 
sizing, but contains a small amount of whiting; the “thick white” is 
the gesso proper, containing much whiting, and forms the final sur- 
facing material; whereas Cennino’s gesso grosso simply serves as a 


xvi THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


foundation for the gesso sottile which comes after. These tempting 
modern similia, therefore, differ in application, and also in composi- 
tion. Furthermore, gesso sottile must refer not only to a thin mixture, 
but to a material which is by nature “thin” or “subtle.” In practice, this 
thinness becomes apparent; this subtlety, in comparison with the 
crude whiting of the modern gilder, or the heavy impasto of the gesso 
grosso. Painters and gilders who once work with it care not by what 
outlandish name it may be called; the only sufferers are those who 
read and do not paint; and this translation is for the painters. 

In one section, that on casting, I have balked at consistency in the 
use of this word “gesso.” Gesso there means “plaster,” “plaster of 
Paris,” and I have so translated it. (Among modern sculptors, “gesso” 
in English has this meaning; but painters understand by it a white 
priming preparation containing size, or the white filling of such 
preparation.) “Plaster,” alas, has to do heavy duty in this little book: 
to serve as a noun for gesso here, for intonaco and smalto, and some- 
times for pasta;*° 
English, in terms for plasterwork, and I suppose no tongue is richer 
than Italian. 


and for smaltare as a verb. For we are poor, in 


I have endeavored, in the main, to avoid this sort of freedom, and 
to confine myself as far as possible, even at great cost to style, to a 
single English equivalent for every technical expression of the Italian. 
In some cases I have had to admit defeat. Colla, for example, just 
means “adhesive” in general; and no one English word will fit it 
always. There we are richer than Cennino, and I have been obliged 
to use “glue,” “size,”*’ and “cement,” to translate the one word colla. 
So also with penna, which means sometimes “quill,” and sometimes 
“pen”—“quill pen,” of course. In a few cases the Italian possesses both 
singular and plural of a word which with us exists in only one. Thus, 
“charcoal,” for carbone,** has to become “coals,” for carboni. 

Some of the matters of which Cennino writes are unfamiliar to the 


36 Pasta is also used for “batter.” 

37 “Size,” in English, is doubly ambiguous: apart from the idea of dimension, it is 
the word for a solution of glue or gelatine, and is also the only proper translation of 
the Italian assiso, in the sense of “gold size.” 

38 Carbone is also used by Cennino in the general sense of “crayon,” black or white. 
(See I, 101, |. 9, and n. 2, p. 106, below.) 


PREFACE xvii 


general reader, and no ingenuity in translation will make his words 
clear without comment. The tool called a “slice,” the composition 
known as “vermeil,” colors in the form of “clothlets,” are likely to 
need explanation to some readers, at least, though all these words are 
proper English, and the best translations to be found. In such cases 
the New English Dictionary is specifically cited; and it may be con- 
sulted generally as authority for definitions here. 

In Cennino’s occasional attempts at rhetoric, as in the first chapter, 
he is apt to lose himself in complications. He does not always finish his 
sentences, and has a disconcerting habit of changing persons and 
tenses and moods in the middle of an instruction. It has seemed to 
me pointless to preserve lapses of this sort in my translation, when 
his intention can be understood. In some parts, it must be confessed, 
a good deal of sympathy is called for; elsewhere, his little slips are 
easy to understand and overlook. I have tried to keep something of 
the flavor of his writing, but have felt as free to recast an awkward 
sentence as to spell correctly the words with which I translate the mis- 
spelled words of my original. 

If I speak slightingly of Cennino’s rhetoric, let it not be supposed 
that I take no joy in his expression. In the very heart of the tangle of 
his first chapter®° lies a sentence, defining the “occupation known as 
painting,” which seems to me as precious as anything in the book. By 
this definition, painting “calls for imagination, and skill of hand, in 
order to discover things not seen, hiding themselves under the shadow 
of natural objects, and to fix them with the hand, presenting to plain 
sight what does not actually exist.” And therein lies the secret of much 
good work. 

There are some obvious lacunae in the text, not to be supplied from 
manuscripts of the Libro dell’ Arte now in existence. Some of these 
can be filled out fairly satisfactorily; and I have generally attempted 
to repair them in this translation, either by inserting, in pointed 
brackets (< >), such words as I think necessary to complete the 
sense, or by indicating in footnotes the possible character of the omis- 
sions.*° Pointed brackets are used also for a few words introduced into 


39 See below, p. 1. 
40 In addition to these minor defects, I suspect that at least one fairly considerable 


xviii THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


the translation to make the meaning clearer. The only editorial addi- 
tions not so bracketed are the chapter headings which I have sup- 
plied from the point where the titles in the manuscripts cease.** 

When Tambroni first published the Libro dell’ Arte, he devised 
titles and numbers for the chapters which followed Cap. CXL, in his 
manuscript.’* Seventeen new titles were supplied by the Milanesi to 
account for chapters in R which they brought to light. These follow 
the chapter numbered CLX by Tambroni. Tambroni and the Mi- 
lanesi made up these titles, in most cases, out of extracts from the text 
itself. They are consequently rather apt to be long, and sufficiently 
archaic in flavor to convey a false sense of authenticity.** There seems 
to be some convenience to the reader in having the text divided into 
chapters and in having these chapters provided with headings of 
some sort. I have, therefore, made such divisions, and furnished them 
with titles. These titles are not bracketed, but are printed in italics, to 
remind the reader that they are modern inventions. In the number 
and wording of these headings, I have departed freely from the Tam- 
broni-Milanesi formula. 

No chapter numbers are attached to these spurious headings in this 
edition. As I have pointed out,** neither of the existing systems of 
numbering is “to be considered as an accepted standard; and the two 
together constitute a mechanism of more than doubtful utility.” Since, 
however, references to this work are often made by chapter number, 
I give in footnotes the numerals attached by Tambroni and the 
Milanesi to their divisions of the text. Thus, “T., CLXXI; M., 
CLXXXIX” stands for “the chapter numbered CLXXXIX in the 
Milanesi edition, the translations of Ilg, Lady Herringham, and 
Verkade, and the revised edition of Mottez’ translation; and the same 
chapter, numbered CLXXI in the Tambroni edition, in Mrs. Merri- 
field’s translation, and Mottez’ as originally published.” More than 








portion of Cennino’s text is lost: the beginning of the section on mosaic-painting. See 
n. I, p. 114, below. 

41 The last chapter heading in the MSS is that of CXL. Thereafter neither MS has 
any original headings or numbers. See I, 84, n. 1; and n. 5, p. 86, below. 

42 See n. 6, above. 

48 For an example of their misleading effect, see n. 1, p. 114, below. 

441, Preface, p. Xvi. 


PREFACE xix 


this I cannot do: the reader must determine for himself to which 
series of numbers his reference belongs! 
In adding these chapter headings, I have gone a step farther, and 


continued the division of the work into “sections,”*° 


as begun by 
Cennino. Five of these sections are indicated in the text, and deal 
with the following subjects: 
I. Drawing. 

II. Colors. 

III. Fresco-painting. 

IV. Oil-painting and embellishments for the wall. 

V. Glues, sizes, and cements. 

The conclusion of the fifth section is erroneously marked in the 
manuscripts as the conclusion of the fourth.*° I have distinguished the 
following divisions of the remainder, not specifically indicated in the 
manuscripts: 

VI. Panel-painting and gilding. 
VII. Mordant embellishments. 
VIII. A short section on varnishing. 
IX. A short section on illuminating. 
X. A section dealing with work on cloth. 
XI. A short section on operations with glass. 
XII. Part of a section dealing with mosaic. 

XIII. A section dealing with miscellaneous incidental operations. 

XIV. The final section, devoted to casting. 

These divisions are not very significant, but may serve to emphasize 
the orderly character of Cennino’s composition. 

I hope eventually to bring out a digest of the medieval writings 
prior to Cennino’s which deal with subjects treated in the Libro 
dell’ Arte. On that account I have been sparing, in my notes, of refer- 
ences to those sources; preferring to assemble them methodically later. 
I have not hesitated, however, to anticipate a little, when a quotation 
would serve to clear up some difficulty in the text, or confirm the 
accuracy of a rendering pointedly different from my predecessors’. I 
have likewise postponed for future treatment most of the comments 


45 Parti. See I, 1, l. 12, etc. 46 See I, 66, 1. 19. 


XX THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


which I have to make upon the theory and practice of the techniques 
here described. The purpose of the present volume is to translate the 
text: its fuller interpretation will be undertaken separately. 

To this translation my teachers, students, friends, and colleagues 
have all contributed. Edwin Cassius Taylor, Chairman of the Depart- 
ment of Painting at Yale, has fostered the modern application of 
Cennino’s methods, to my great benefit. To my colleague, Lewis E. 
York, I owe not only the two drawings which illustrate Cennino’s 
casting methods, but also a great deal of helpful practical criticism. 
More thanks are due, I fear, than the quality of this work entitles me 
to render, but I cannot leave unrecorded the generous interest ex- 
tended over many years by Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr., hortatu 
praeceptisque. 

D.NTizia 


Yale University, 
New Haven, Connecticut, 
March 1, 1933. 


CHAPTER 


III 
III 


VI 
VII 
VIII 
VIII 


XI 
XII 


XIII 
XIII 
xv 
XVI 


XVII 


XVIII 
XVIII 
XX 


XXI 
XXII 
XXIII 


XXIII 


XXV 


XXVI 


XXVII 


XXVIII 


XXVIII 


CONTENTS 


Preface 
I 


The first chapter of the first section of this book 

How some enter the profession through loftiness of spirit, and some, 
for profit 

Fundamental provisions for anyone who enters this profession 

How the schedule shows you into how many sections and branches 
the occupations are divided 

How you begin drawing on a little panel; and the system for it 

How to draw on several kinds of panels \ 

What kind of bone is good for treating the panels 

How you should start drawing with a style, and by what light 

How you should give the system of lighting, light or shade, to your 
figures, endowing them with a system of relief 

The method and system for drawing on sheep parchment and on 
paper, and shading with washes 

How you may draw with a leaden style 

How, if you have made a slip in drawing with the leaden style, you 
may erase it, and by what means 

How you should practice drawing with a pen 

How to learn to cut the quill for drawing 

How you should advance to drawing on tinted paper 

How the green tint is made on paper for drawing; and the way to 
temper it 

How you should tint kid parchment, and by which method you 
burnish it 

How you should tint paper turnsole color 

How you should tint paper with an indigo tint 

How you should tint papers with reddish color, or almost peach 
color 

How you should tint papers with flesh color 

How you should tint papers greenish gray, or drab 

How you may obtain the essence of a good figure or drawing with 
tracing paper 

The first way to learn how to make a clear tracing paper 

A second way to make tracing paper: with glue 

How to make tracing paper out of paper 

How you should endeavor to copy and draw after as few masters as 
possible 

How, beyond masters, you should constantly copy from nature with 
steady practice 

How you should regulate your life in the interests of decorum and 
the condition of your hand; and in what company; and what 
method you should first adopt for copying a figure from high up 


PAGE 


uM ba BW Ww 


a 


ND 


Oo co DV 


IO 
II 
II 


12 
12 
12 


13 
13 
14 
14 


14 - 


15 


16 


xxii 


CHAPTER 
XXX 


XXXI 
XXXII 


XXXIII 
XXXIII 


XXXV 


XXXVI 
XXXVII 
XXXVIII 
XXXVIII 


XL 


XLI 
XLII 
XLIII 
XLIII 
XLV 
XLVI 
XLVII 
XLVIII 
XLVIIII 
L 

LI 

LII 
LIII 
LIMI 
LV 
LVI 
LVII 


LVIII 
LVIIII 
LX 
LXI 
LXII 
LXIII 
LXIIII 
LXV 
LXVI 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


How you should first start drawing on paper with charcoal, and 
take the measurement of the figure, and fix it with a silver style 

How you should draw and shade with washes on tinted paper, and 
then put lights on with white lead 

How you may put on lights with washes of white lead just as you 
shade with washes of ink 

How to make good and perfect and slender coals for drawing 

About a stone which has the character of charcoal for drawing. This 
ends the first section of this book 


II 


The second section of this book: bringing you to the working up of 
the colors 

This shows you the natural colors, and how you should grind black 

How to make various sorts of black 

On the character of the red color called sinoper 

How to make the red called cinabrese, for doing flesh on the wall; 
and about its character 

On the character of the red called vermilion; and how it should be 
worked up 

On the character of a red called red lead 

On the character of a red called hematite 

On the character of a red called dragonsblood 

On the character of a red called lac 

On the character of a yellow color called ocher 

On the character of a yellow color called giallorino 

On the character of a yellow called orpiment 

On the character of a yellow which is called realgar 

On the character of a yellow called saffron 

On the character of a yellow called arzica 

On the character of a green called terre-verte 

On the character of a green called malachite 

How you make a green with orpiment and indigo 

How you make a green with blue and giallorino 

How you make a green with ultramarine blue 

On the character of a green called verdigris 

How you make a green with white lead and terre-verte; or lime 
white 

On the character of lime white 

On the character of white lead 

On the character of azurite 

To make an imitation of azurite with other colors 

On the character of ultramarine blue, and how to make it 

The importance of knowing how to make brushes 

How to make minever brushes 

How you should make bristle brushes, and in what manner 

How to keep minever tails from getting moth-eaten. This ends the 

» second section of this book; begins the third 


PAGE 


17 


17 


18 
19 


20 


20 
20 
22 
23 


23 


CHAPTER 


LXVII 


LXVIII 
LXVIIII 
LXX 
LXXI 
LXXII 
LXXIII 
LXXIIII 
LXXV 
LXXVI 
LXXVII 
LXXVIII 
LXXVIIII 
LxXxx 
LXXXI 
LXXXII 


LXXXIII 
LXXXIIII 
LXXXV 
LXXXVI 


LXXXVII 
LXXXVIII 


LXXXVIIII 


LXXXX 


SA 
eee 
LXXXXIII 


KXXXIIII 
LXXXXV 
LXXXXVI 


LXXXXVII 
LXXXXVIII 
LXXXXVIIII 


CONTENTS 


II 


The method and system for working on a wall, that is, in fresco; 
and on painting and doing flesh for a youthful face 

The method for painting an aged face in fresco 

The method for painting various kinds of beards and hair in fresco 

The proportions which a perfectly formed man’s body should possess 

The way to paint a drapery in fresco 

The way to paint on a wall in secco; and the temperas for it 

How to make a violet color 

To execute a violet color in fresco 

To try to imitate an ultramarine blue for use in fresco 

To paint a purple or turnsole drapery in fresco 

To paint a shot green drapery in fresco 

To paint in fresco a drapery shot with ash gray 

To paint one in secco shot with lac 

To paint one in fresco or in secco shot with ocher 

To paint a greenish-gray costume in fresco or in secco 

To paint a costume, in fresco and in secco, of a greenish-gray color 
like the color of wood 

To make a drapery, or a mantle for Our Lady, with azurite or ultra- 
marine blue 

To make a black drapery for a monk’s or friar’s robe, in fresco and 
in secco 

On the way to paint a mountain, in fresco or in secco 

The way to paint trees and plants and foliage, in fresco and in secco 

How buildings are to be painted, in fresco and in secco 

The way to copy a mountain from nature. This ends the third sec- 
tion of this book 


IV 


How to paint in oil on a wall, on panel, on iron, and where you 
please 

How you should start for working in oil on a wall 

How you are to make oil, good for a tempera, and also for mordants, 
by boiling with fire 

How good and perfect oil is made by cooking in the sun 

How you should work up the colors with oil, and employ them on 
the wall 

How you should work in oil on iron, on panel, on stone 

The way to embellish with gold or with tin on a wall 

How you should always make a practice of working with fine gold 
and with good colors 

How you should cut the golden tin, and embellish 

How to make green tin for embellishing 

How to make the golden tin, and how to lay fine gold with this 
vermeil 

How to fashion or cut out the stars, and put them on the wall 


XXiil 


PAGE 


42 
47 
48 


49 
50 
52 
52 
52 
53 
53 
53 
53 
54 
54 


54 


57 
57 


58 
59 


59 
60 


60 


61 
61 


63 


XX1V 


CHAPTER 
cl 


cil 
cit 


CIIII 


cv 
CVI 
CVII 
CVIII 
CVIIII 


cx 


CXxI 
CXII 


CXIII 
CXIII 
CXV 
CXVI 
CXVII 
CXVIII 


CXVIIII 
CxXx 


CXXI 
CXXII 
CXXIII 
CXXIIII 
CXXV 
CXXVI 
CXXVII 
CXXVIII 
CXXVIIII 


CXXX 
CXXXI 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


How you can make the diadems of the saints on the wall with this 
tin gilded with fine gold 

How you should model up a diadem in lime mortar on a wall 

How from the wall you enter upon panel-painting. This ends the 
fourth section of this book 


Vv 


The system by which you should prepare to acquire the skill to 
work on panel 

How you make batter or flour paste 

How you should make cement for mending stones 

How to make cement for mending dishes of glass 

How fish glue is used, and how it is tempered 

How goat glue is made, and how it is tempered; and how many pur- 
poses it will serve 

A perfect size for tempering gessos for anconas or panels 

A size which is good for tempering blues and other colors 

To make a glue out of lime and cheese. This ends the fifth section of 
this book 


VI 


How you should start to work on panel or anconas 

How you should put cloth on a panel 

How the flat of a panel should be gessoed with the slice with gesso 
grosso 

How to make the gesso sottile for gessoing panels 

How to gesso an ancona with gesso sottile; and how to temper it 

How you may gesso with gesso sottile without having gessoed with 
gesso grosso first 

How you should temper and grind gesso sottile for modeling 

How you should start to scrape down an ancona flat gessoed with 
gesso sottile 

How the gesso sottile on the flats should be scraped down, and what 
these scrapings are good for 

How to draw on panel with charcoal, to begin with, and to fix it 
with ink 

How you should mark out the outlines of the figures for gilding the 
grounds 

How to model on a panel with gesso sottile, and how to mount pre- 
cious stones 

How you should cast a relief for embellishing areas of anconas 

How to plaster reliefs on a wall 

How to model with mortar on a wall the way you model with 
gesso on panel 

How to take reliefs from a stone mold, and how they are good on 
wall and on panel 

How you may model on a wall with varnish 

How you may model on a wall with wax 

How to lay bole on panel, and how to temper it 


PAGE 


63 


64 


64 
66 
66 
66 
67 
68 


68 


69 
70 
70 
71 
72 


73 
73 


74 
74 
75 
76 
76 


77 
77 


CHAPTER 
CXXXII 
CXXXIII 
CXXXIIII 
CXXXV 
CXXXVI 
CXXXVII 


CXXXVIII 


CXXXVIIII 


CXL 


CONTENTS 


Another way to temper bole on panel, for gilding 

How you may gild on panel with terre-verte 

How to gild on panel 

What stones are good for burnishing this gilding 

How to prepare the stone for burnishing gold 

How you should burnish the gold, or mend matters in case it could 
not get burnished 

Now I will show you how to burnish, and in what direction, espe- 
cially a flat 

What gold is good for burnish and mordant gilding, and what 
thickness 

How you should begin swinging the diadems and do stamping on 
the gold, and mark out the outlines of the figures 


PAGE 


79 
80 


80 
82 
82 
83 
84 
84 


85 


Nore: The following chapter numbers and headings are not original to the Liéro dell’- 
Arte. The headings have been invented merely to serve as a running guide to the con- 
tent of the text; the numbers are those attached to the chapters in the editions of Tam- 
broni and the Milanesi, and are included here for convenience in locating references 
to those editions or to translations based upon them. (See Preface, p. xviii, above.) 


Tambroni Milanesi 


CXLI 
CXLII 
CXLIII 
CXLIV 
CXLV 
CXLVI 
CXLVII 
CXLVIII 
CXLIX 
CL 


CLI 


CLII 
CLIMI 


CLIV 
CLV 
CLV 

CLVI 


CLVII 


CLVIII 


CXLI 
CXLII 
CXLIII 
CXLIV 
CXLV 
CXLVI 
CXLVII 
CXLVIII 
CXLIX 
CL 


CLI 


CLII 
CLI 


CLIV 
CLV 
CLV 

CLVI 


CLVII 


CLVIII 


How to design gold brocades in various colors 
How to execute gold or silver brocades 
Several rules for cloths of gold and silver 
How to do velvet, wool, and silk 


“How to paint on panel 


How to make draperies in blue and purple 
“How to paint faces 

How to paint a dead man 

How to paint wounds 

How to paint water 


VII 


A short section on mordant gilding. How to make a stand- 
ard mordant, and how to gild with it 

How to control the drying of the mordant 

How to make a mordant out of garlic 


VII 


Introduction to a short section on varnishing 

When to varnish 

How to apply the varnish 

How to make a painting look as if it were varnished 


IX 


A short section on illuminating: first, how to gild on parch- 
ment 
Another kind of size: for grounds only 


PAGE 
86 
87 
88 
89 
9I 
93 
93 
94 
95 
95 


96 
97 
97 


98 
98 
99 
99 


100 
IOI 


xxvi 


Tambroni Milanesi 


CLIX 
cLx1 





RES 


Reni 





CLIX 


CLX® 


CLXI 


CLXII 


CLXIII 
CLXIV 
CLXV 
CLXVI 
CLXVII 
CLXVIII 
CLXIX 
CLXX 


CLXXI 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 


CLXXII 


CLXXII 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 
CLXXII 


CLXXIII 


CLXXIV 
CLXXV 
CLXXV 
CLXXV 

CLXXVI 

CLXXVI 

CLXXVII 
CLXXVIII 

CLXXIX 

CLXXX 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


How to make and use mosaic gold 
How to grind gold and silver for use as colors 
Colors for use on parchment 


Xx 


A section dealing with work on cloth: first, painting and 
gilding 

Various ways to do hangings 

How to draw for embroiderers 

How to work on silk, on both sides 

How to paint and gild on velvet 

How to lay gold and silver on woolen cloth 

How to make devices out of gilded paper 

How to model crests or helmets 

How to do caskets or chests 


XI 


A short section on operations with glass: first, for windows 
How to gild glass for reliquary ornaments 

Arrangements for drawing on this glass 

How to draw on the gilded glass 

How to scrape the gold off the backgrounds 

How to back up the drawing with colors 


XII 


Part of a section dealing with mosaic: first, a fragment from 
the end of a chapter otherwise lost 

Mosaic of quill cuttings 

Mosaic of crushed eggshells, painted 

Mosaic of paper or foil 

Mosaic of eggshells, gilded 


XIII 


A section dealing with miscellaneous incidental operations: 
first, block printing on cloth 

How to gild a stone figure 

The dangers of a wet wall for fresco 

Preliminary precautions against moisture 

Waterproofing with boiled oil 

Waterproofing with pitch 

Waterproofing with liquid varnish 

How to distemper inside walls with green 

How to varnish terre-verte 

How to clean off the paint after you have made up a face 

The perils of indulgence in cosmetics 


PAGE 
101 
102 
102 


103 
104 
105 
106 
107 
107 
108 
108 
109 


III 
112 
112 
113 
113 
113 


114 
114 
115 
115 
115 


115 
118 
119 
120 
120 
I2I 
I2I 
I2I 
122 
122 
123 





1 This chapter in Tambroni’s edition comprises also Cap. CLXXVIII of the Milanesi’s 


edition. 


Tambroni Milanesi 


CLXIII 


CLXIV 
CLXV 
CLXVI 
CLXVI 
CLXVII 
CLXVIII 
CLXIX 
CLXX 
CLXXI 


CLXXXI 


CLXXXII 
CLXXXIII 
CLXXXIV 
CLXXXIV 
CLXXXV 
CLXXXVI 
CLXXXVII 
CLXXXVIII 
CLXXXIX 


Index 


CONTENTS xxvii 


PAGE 
XIV 

The final section, devoted to methods of casting, begins 
here 123 
How to take a life mask 124 
The breathing tubes 125 
The operations of casting the matrix 126 
How to cast this waste mold 126 
How to cast whole figures 127 
How to make a cast of your own person 129 
Castings in gesso for use on panel 129 
How to cast medals 130 
How to make a mold from a seal or coin 130 


133 





PeelbRO DELL ARTE 


HERE BEGINS THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK, made and 
composed by Cennino of Colle, in the reverence of God, and of The 
Virgin Mary, and of Saint Eustace, and of Saint Francis, and of Saint 
John Baptist, and of Saint Anthony of Padua, and, in general, of all 
the Saints of God; and in the reverence of Giotto, of Taddeo and of 
Agnolo, Cennino’s master; and for the use and good and profit of 
anyone who wants to enter this profession. 


THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE FIRST SECTION 
OF THIS BOOK. 

In the beginning, when Almighty God created heaven and earth, 
above all animals and foods he created man and woman in his own 
image, endowing them with every virtue. Then, because of the mis- 
fortune which fell upon Adam, through envy, from Lucifer, who by 
his malice and cunning beguiled him—or rather, Eve, and then Eve, 
Adam—into sin against the Lord’s command: because of this, there- 
fore, God became angry with Adam, and had him driven, him and 
his companion, forth out of Paradise, saying to them: ‘Inasmuch as 
you have disobeyed the command which God gave you, by your 
struggles and exertions you shall carry on your lives.’ And so Adam, 
recognizing the error which he had committed, after being so royally 
endowed by God as the source, beginning, and father of us all, realized 
theoretically that some means of living by labor had to be found. And 
so he started with the spade, and Eve, with spinning. Man afterward 
pursued many useful occupations, differing from each other; and 
some were, and are, more theoretical than others; they could not all 
be alike, since theory is the most worthy. Close to that, man pursued 
some related to the one which calls for a basis of that, coupled with 
skill of hand: and this is an occupation known as painting, which calls 
for imagination, and skill of hand, in order to discover things not seen, 
hiding themselves under the shadow of natural objects, and to fix 
them’ with the hand, presenting to plain sight what does not actually 
exist. And it justly deserves to be enthroned next to theory, and to be 


1 Fermarle. Perhaps read formarle “give them shape.” 


2 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


crowned with poetry. The justice lies in this: that the poet, with his 
theory, though. he have but one, it makes him worthy, is free to com- 
pose and bind together, or not, as he pleases, according to his inclina- 
tion. In the same way, the painter is given freedom to compose a 
figure, standing, seated, half-man, half-horse, as he pleases, according 
to his imagination. So then, either as a labor of love for all those who 
feel within them a desire to understand; or as a means of embellishing 
these fundamental theories with some jewel, that they may be set 
forth royally, without reserve; offering to these theories whatever 
little understanding God has granted me, as an unimportant practic- 
ing member of the profession of painting: I, Cennino, the son of 
Andrea Cennini of Colle di Val d’Elsa,—(I was trained in this pro- 
fession for twelve years by my master, Agnolo di Taddeo of Florence; 
he learned this profession from Taddeo, his father; and his father was 
christened under Giotto, and was his follower for four-and-twenty 
years; and that Giotto changed the profession of painting from Greek 
back into Latin, and brought it up to date; and he had more finished 
craftsmanship than anyone has had since),—to minister to all those 
who wish to enter the profession, I will make note of what was 
taught me by the aforesaid Agnolo, my master, and of what I have 
tried out with my own hand; first invoking <the aid of> High Al- 
mighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; then <of> that most 
delightful advocate of all sinners, Virgin Mary; and of Saint Luke, 
the Evangelist, the first Christian painter; and of my advocate, Saint 
Eustace; and, in general, of all the Saints of Paradise, A M E N. 


HOW SOME ENTER THE PROFESSION THROUGH LOFTI- 
NESS OF SPIRIT, AND SOME, FOR PROFIT. 
CHAPTER II 

It is not without the impulse of a lofty spirit that some are moved to 
enter this profession, attractive to them through natural enthusiasm. 
Their intellect will take delight in drawing, provided their nature 
attracts them to it of themselves, without any master’s guidance, out 
of loftiness of spirit. And then, through this delight, they come to 
want to find a master; and they bind themselves to him with respect 
for authority, undergoing an apprenticeship in order to achieve per- 


THE PLAN OF STUDY 3 


fection in all this. There are those who pursue it, because of poverty 
and domestic need, for profit and enthusiasm for the profession too; 
but above all these are to be extolled the ones who enter the profession 
through a sense of enthusiasm and exaltation. 


FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS FOR ANYONE WHO 
ENTERS THIS PROFESSION. 
CHAPTER III 
You, therefore, who with lofty spirit are fired with this ambition, 
and are about to enter the profession, begin by decking yourselves 
with this attire: Enthusiasm, Reverence, Obedience, and Constancy. 
And begin to submit yourself to the direction of a master for instruc- 
tion as early as you can; and do not leave the master until you have to. 


HOW THE SCHEDULE SHOWS YOU INTO HOW MANY 
SECTIONS AND BRANCHES THE OCCUPATIONS 
ARE DIVIDED. 
CHAPTER IIII 
The basis of the profession, the very beginning of all these manual 
operations, is drawing and painting. These two sections call for a 
knowledge of the following: how to work up or grind, how to apply 
size, to put on cloth, to gesso, to scrape the gessos and smooth them 
down, to model with gesso, to lay bole, to gild, to burnish; to temper, 
to lay in; to pounce, to scrape through, to stamp or punch; to mark 
out, to paint, to embellish, and to varnish, on panel or ancona.* To 
work on a wall you have to wet down, to plaster, to true up, to smooth 
off, to draw, to paint in fresco. To carry to completion in secco: to 
temper, to embellish, to finish on the wall. And let this be the schedule 
of the aforesaid stages which I, with what little knowledge I have 
acquired, will expound, section by section. 


1 By ancona is to be understood a compound panel, one with its moldings integrally 
attached. It may be large or small; complex, as a polyptych, or merely a “self-framed” 
panel. The ¢avola, the simple “panel,” has no moldings. 


4 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU BEGIN DRAWING ON A LITTLE PANEL; 
AND THE SYSTEM FOR IT. 
CHAPTER V 

As has been said, you begin with drawing. You ought to have the 
most elementary system, so as to be able to start drawing. First take a 
little boxwood panel, nine inches wide in each direction; all smooth 
and clean, that is, washed with clear water; rubbed and smoothed 
down with cuttle such as the goldsmiths use for casting. And when 
this little panel is thoroughly dry, take enough bone, ground dili- 
gently for two hours, to serve the purpose; and the finer it is, the 
better. Scrape it up afterward, take it and keep it wrapped up in a 
paper, dry. And when you need some for priming this little panel, 
take less than half a bean of this bone, or even less. And stir this bone 
up with saliva. Spread it all over the little panel with your fingers; and, 
before it gets dry, hold the little panel in your left hand, and tap over 
the panel with the finger tip of your right hand until you see that it 
is quite dry. And it will get coated with bone as evenly in one place 
as in another. 


HOW TO DRAW ON SEVERAL KINDS OF PANELS. 
CHAPTER VI 


For that purpose, a little panel of old fig wood is good; and also 
certain tablets which tradesmen use, which consist of sheep parchment 
gessoed and coated with white lead in oil," following the treatment 
with bone according to the system which I have described. 


1The Liber illuministarum pro fundamentis auri et coloribus ac consimilibus, 
Munich, Staatsbibliothek, MS. germ. 821, compiled about 1500 at Tegernsee (Oby.), 
contains (fol. 33) a rule for these, quoted by Ludwig Rockinger in “Zum baierischen 
Schriftwesen im Mittelalter,” Abhandlungen der historischen Classe der kdniglichen 
bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, XII (1872), 1t¢ Abteilung, p. 18. A transla- 
tion of this rule follows: 

“White parchment tablets are made in this way. Take calf parchment, and put it 
on the stretcher, and stretch it well; and dry it thoroughly in the sun. And do this 
thrice. And then take thoroughly powdered white-lead, and mix it with linseed oil 
until it comes out thin, while still preserving the white color of the white-lead. And 
paint that calfskin with that liquid color. And then dry it in the sun. And do this 
nine times; and by all means of the same thickness[?] And one coat is not to be applied 
unless the previous one be thoroughly dry. This done, you will shape up as many 
leaves of this calfskin as you wish, and make tablets. And you can write on them with 


SILVER-POINT DRAWING 5 


WHAT KIND OF BONE IS GOOD FOR TREATING 
THE PANELS. 
CHAPTER VII 
You must know what bone is good. Take bone from the second 
joints and wings of fowls, or of a capon; and the older they are the 
better. Just as you find them under the dining-table, put them into 
the fire; and when you see that they have turned whiter than ashes, 
draw them out, and grind them well on the porphyry; and use it as I 
say above. 


HOW YOU SHOULD START DRAWING WITH A STYLE, 
AND BY WHAT LIGHT. 
CHAPTER VIII 

The thigh bone of a gelded lamb is good, too, and the shoulder, 
calcined in the way described. And then take a style of silver, or 
brass, or anything else, provided the ends be of silver," fairly slender, 
smooth, and handsome. Then, using a model, start to copy the easiest 
possible subjects, to get your hand in; and run the style over the little 
panel so lightly that you can hardly make out what you first start to 
do; strengthening your strokes little by little, going back many times 
to produce the shadows. And the darker you want to make the 
shadows in the accents, the more times you go back to them; and so, 
conversely, go back over the reliefs only a few times. And let the helm 
and steersman of this power to see be the light of the sun, the light of 
your eye, and your own hand: for without these three things nothing 
can be done systematically. But arrange to have the light diffused 
when you are drawing; and have the sun fall on your left side. And 
with that system set yourself to practice drawing, drawing only a 
little each day, so that you may not come to lose your taste for it, or get 
tired of it. 


a lead, tin, copper, or silver style, or even with ink, and erase the letters with saliva 
[not salvia, “sage,” as in ed. Rockinger] and write again. And when all the whiteness 
has disappeared, whiten them again with white-lead and saliva like the ordinary 
tablets, or with scrapings of shells, bones, or powder of calcined bones, and saliva.” 

1 A convenient device is to obtain from a jeweler an inch or two of silver wire of 
the same caliper as a pencil lead. This can then be used in place of the lead in a propelling 
pencil, and needs only a little shaping of the point to make an admirable “silver style” 
at trifling expense. 


6 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD GIVE THE SYSTEM OF LIGHTING, 
LIGHT OR SHADE, TO YOUR FIGURES, ENDOWING 
THEM WITH A SYSTEM OF RELIEF. 

CHAPTER VIIII 

If, by chance, when you are drawing or copying in chapels, or 
painting in other adverse situations, you happen not to be able to get 
the light off your hand, or the way you want it, proceed to give the 
relief to your figures, or rather, drawing, according to the arrange- 
ment of the windows which you find in these places, for they have to 
give you the lighting. And so, following the lighting, whichever side 
it comes from, apply your relief and shadow, according to this sys- 
tem. And if it happens that the light comes or shines through the 
center straight ahead, or in full glory, apply your relief in the same 
way, light and dark, by this system. And if the light shines from one 
window larger than the others in these places, always follow the domi- 
nant lighting; and make it your careful duty to analyze it, and fol- 
low it through, because, if it failed in this respect, your work would 
be lacking in relief, and would come out a shallow thing, of little 
mastery. 


THE METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DRAWING ON SHEEP 
PARCHMENT AND ON PAPER,* AND SHADING 
WITH WASHES. 

CHAPTER X 


To get back to our main track: you may also draw on sheep parch- 
ment and on paper. On the parchment you may draw or sketch with 
this style of yours if you first put some of that bone, dry and powdered, 


1 In carta pecorina e ’n banbagina. Cennino distinguishes two types of carta: one, 
parchment, chiefly from sheep- or goat-skins; the other, carta banbagina, paper. The 
adjective, banbagina, I do not translate as “cotton,” for two reasons. 

In the first place, whatever the nature of this carta banbagina may have been, Cen- 
nino uses the term for no other purpose than to distinguish it from carta meaning 
“parchment.” I see no indication that Cennino gave any thought to the composition of 
the material itself, and the distinction between the natural product, parchment, and the 
artificial one, paper, requires no such expedient in English. To translate banbagina in 
this phrase would be to impose a specific meaning where, I believe, none was intended. 

In the second place, it is not at all certain that banbagina, in this phrase, means 
“cotton.” Joseph Karabacek, in ““Neue Quellen zur Papiergeschichte,” Mitteilungen aus 
der Sammlung der Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer, IV (Vienna, 1888), Section VI, “Die 


LEAD-POINT DRAWING 7 


like dust or pouncing rosin, all over the parchment, sprinkling it on, 
spreading it about, and dusting it off with a hare’s foot. If, after you 
have drawn with the style, you want to clear up the drawing further, 
fix it with ink at the points of accent and stress. And then shade the 
folds with washes of ink; that is, as much water as a nutshell would 
hold, with two drops of ink in it; and shade with a brush made of 
minever tails, rather blunt, and almost always dry. And so, according 
to the darks, you make the wash blacker in this way with more little 
drops of ink. And you may likewise work and shade with colors and 
with clothlets? such as the illuminators use; the colors tempered with 
gum, or with clear white of egg well beaten and liquefied. 


HOW YOU MAY DRAW WITH A LEADEN STYLE. 
CHAPTER XI 


You may also draw, without any bone, on this parchment’ with a 
style of lead; that is, a style made of two parts lead and one part tin, 
well beaten with a hammer. 


HOW, IF YOU HAVE MADE A SLIP IN DRAWING WITH 
THE LEADEN STYLE, YOU MAY ERASE IT, 
AND BY WHAT MEANS. 
CHAPTER XII 


On paper you may draw with the aforesaid lead without bone, and 
likewise with bone. And if you ever make a slip, so that you want to 


Entstehung der Fabel vom Baumwollenpapier,” pp. 117-122, maintains that “es hat 
niemals ein aus roher Baumwolle erzeugtes Papier gegeben,” and that this misconcep- 
tion arose through the confusion of Latin, bombycina (“cotton”) <Greek BouBUK:voc 
<BouBvE (“silkworm”), with bambycina, “Bambycene” <Greek Bay BUKy, a city of 
northern Syria. 

Whatever the etymology of Cennino’s banbagina may be, I feel confident that he 
used it in a traditional, general, uncritical sense, simply to distinguish one application 
of the generic term carta from another; and that the single English word “paper” 
translates adequately the whole phrase, carta banbagina. Whenever carta is used un- 
qualified, the meaning is ambiguous. In such cases I have elected the translation “paper,” 
except when “parchment” seems in some way indicated by the context, as on p. —, 
below. 

2 NED. 

1 Nella detta charta: translated “parchment” because the carta of the preceding rule 
is specifically pecorina, and because the use of the leaden style on paper, carta banba- 
gina, is treated separately in the next chapter. 


8 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


remove some stroke made by this little lead, take a bit of the crumb of 
some bread, and rub it over the paper, and you will remove whatever 
you wish. And you may shade on this paper in the same way with ink, 
with colors, and with clothlets, using the temperas aforesaid. 


HOW YOU SHOULD PRACTICE DRAWING WITH A PEN. 
CHAPTER XIII 

When you have put in a year, more or less, at this exercise, accord- 
ing to what liking or enjoyment you have taken, you may sometimes 
just draw on paper with a pen. Have it cut fine; and then draw nicely, 
and work up your lights, half lights, and darks gradually, going back 
to them many times with the pen. And if you want your drawings to 
come out a little more seductive, put some little washes on them, as I 
told you before, with a blunt minever brush. Do you realize what 
will happen to you if you practice drawing with a pen?—That it will 
make you expert, skilful, and capable of much drawing out of your 
own head. 


HOW TO LEARN TO CUT THE QUILL FOR DRAWING. 
CHAPTER XIIII 

If you need to learn how this goose quill should be cut, get a good, 
firm quill, and take it, upside down, straight across the two fingers of 
your left hand; and get a very nice sharp penknife, and make a 
horizontal cut one finger along the quill; and cut it by drawing the 
knife toward you, taking care that the cut runs even and through 
the middle of the quill. And then put the knife back on one of the 
edges of this quill, say on the left side, which faces you, and pare it, 
and taper it off toward the point. And cut the other side to the same 
curve, and bring it down to the same point. Then turn the pen 
around the other side up, and lay it over your left thumb nail; and 
carefully, bit by bit, pare and cut that little tip;* and make the shape 
broad or fine, whichever you want, either for drawing or for writing. 


1 Apparently the slit in the nib was made with the knife at this stage. This is a 
delicate operation, and a different method may be followed by members of our post- 
Gillot civilization with better chances of success. 

After the first horizontal cut, which removes the last half inch or so of the lower 
half of the quill, a small slit is started with the knife at the middle of the end of the 


DRAWING ON TINTED PAPER 9 


HOW YOU SHOULD ADVANCE TO DRAWING ON 
TINTED PAPER. 
CHAPTER XV 

To approach the glory <of the profession>* step by step, to start 
trying to discover the entrance and gateway to painting, you should 
take up a system of drawing different from the one which we have 
been discussing up to now. And this is known as drawing on tinted 
paper; either paper, that is, or parchment. Let them be tinted; for one 
is tinted in the same way as the other, and with the same tempera. 
And you may make your tints inclined toward pink, or violet, or 
green; or bluish, or greenish gray, that is, drab colors; or flesh colored, 
or any way you please; for they all take the same temperas, the same 
time for grinding the colors; and you may draw on them all by the 
same method. It is true that most people generally use the green tint, 
and it is most usual, both for shading down and for putting lights on. 
Although I am going to describe later on the grinding of all the colors, 
and their characters, and their temperas, I will give you briefly a short 
method now, to get you started on your drawing and your tinting 


of the papers. 


HOW THE GREEN TINT IS MADE ON PAPER FOR 
DRAWING; AND THE WAY TO TEMPER IT. 
CHAPTER XVI 

When you want to tint a kid parchment, or a sheet of paper, take as 
much as half a nut of terre-verte; a little ocher, half as much as that; 
and solid white lead to the amount of half the ocher; and as much as 
a bean of bone dust, using the bone which I described to you above 
for drawing; and as much as half a bean of vermilion. And grind all 
these things up well on the porphyry slab with well or spring or river 
water; and grind them as much as ever you can stand grinding them, 


upper half. Holding the tip of the right thumb firmly against the top of the quill half 
or three quarters of an inch from the end, a small stick is inserted a short way into 
the quill with the left hand, and given a sharp twitch upward. This action normally 
causes the slit started with the knife to break back neatly to the point where the pres- 
sure of the thumb arrests it. The rest of the operation follows as Cennino describes. 

Detailed practical instructions for pen cutting may be found in Edward Johnston, 
Writing, Illuminating, & Lettering, 11th ed. (London: Putnam, 1920), pp. 51-60. 

1 See Chapter XXXV, p. 20, below. 


10 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


for they can never be done too much; because the more you grind 
them, the more perfect tint it becomes. Then temper the aforesaid 
substances with size of the following quality and strength: get a leaf 
of druggists’ glue, not fish glue, and put it into a pipkin to soak, for 
the space of six hours, in as much clear, clean water as two common 
goblets will hold. Then put this pipkin on the fire to temper it; and 
skim it when it boils. When it has boiled a little, so that you see that 
the glue is all dissolved, strain it twice. Then take a large paint pot, 
big enough for these ground colors, and put in enough of this size to 
make it flow freely from the brush. And choose a good-sized soft 
bristle brush. Then take that paper of yours which you wish to tint; 
lay some of this tint evenly over the ground of your paper, running 
your hand lightly, with the brush about half dry, first in one direction 
and then in the other. And put on three or four coats of it in this way, 
or five, until you see that the paper is tinted evenly. And wait long 
enough between one coat and the next for each coat to dry. And if you 
see that it gets shriveled from your tinting, or horny from the tinting 
mixture, it is a sign that the tempera is too strong; and so, while you 
are laying the first coat, remedy this. How?—Put in some clear warm 
water. When it is dry and done, take a penknife, and rub lightly over 
the tinted sheet with the blade, so as to remove any little roughness 
that there may be on it. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT KID PARCHMENT, AND BY 
WHICH METHOD YOU SHOULD BURNISH IT. 
CHAPTER XVII 

When you want to tint kid parchment, you should first soak it in 
spring or well water until it gets all wet and soft. Then, stretching it 
over a board, like a drumskin, fasten it down with big-headed nails, 
and apply the tints to it in due course, as described above. If it should 
come about that the paper or parchment is not smooth enough to 
suit you, take this paper, and lay it on a walnut board, or on a flat, 
smooth slab; then put a sheet of good clean paper over the one which 
you have tinted; and, with the stone for burnishing and working 
gold, burnish with considerable strength of hand; and so, in this way, 


TINTING THE PAPERS II 


it will get soft and smooth. It is true that some people like very much 
to burnish directly on the tinted paper, that is, to have the burnishing 
stone touch it and penetrate it, so that it acquires a little polish. You 
may do as you please, but that first method of mine is better. The 
reason is this: that rubbing the burnishing stone over the tint offsets, 
by reason of its polish, the polish of the style when you draw; and 
furthermore the washes which you put on with your ink* do not look 
so well blended and clear on this as in the method first described. But, 
nevertheless, do as you please. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT PAPER TURNSOLE COLOR.’ 
CHAPTER XVIII 


Now apply yourself to the making of these tints. To tint your paper 
turnsole color, or purple, for the number of sheets which I mentioned 
before, that is, . . .,° take half an ounce of coarse white lead; and as 
much as a bean of hematite; and grind them together as much as 
ever you can; for ample grinding will not spoil it, but improve it con- 
stantly. Temper it in the regular way. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT PAPER WITH AN INDIGO TINT. 
CHAPTER XVIII 


The indigo tint. Take the number of sheets mentioned above; take 
half an ounce of white lead, and the size of two beans of Bagdad 


1 This reading, with R, is probably to be preferred. L omits “with your ink.” (See 
Trlo:r03) 

2 Morella. Ilg, in his edition of Cennino, Das Buch von der Kunst, in “Quellen- 
schriften fiir Kunstgeschichte . . .,” I (Vienna, 1871), 144, insists that this is the 
solatrum hortense. (NED, s.v. “morel,” solanum nigrum.) I believe, however, that it 
is rather to be identified with the morella, or folium, of the Liber diversarum artium 
(in Catalogue général des MSS des bibliothéques publiques des départements, I | Paris, 
1849], 756, 757), the Liber de coloribus illuminatorum siue pictorum from Sloane MS 
1754 (§ VII: ed. D. V. Thompson, Jr., Speculum, I [1926], 298), the torna-ad-solem 
of the Naples De arte illuminandi (§ 10, ed. A. Lecoy de La Marche, /’Art d’enluminer 
[Paris, 1890], pp. 80-81), etc. This is the “annual euphorbiaceous plant, Crozophora 
tinctoria,” of NED, “turnsole,” 2, a. For this identification, consult bibliography in 
O. Stapf, Iconum botanicarum Index Londinensis . . . (Oxford, 1929), s.v. “Chrozo- 
phora tinctoria.” The plant is known also as Croton tinctorium. 

3 A numeral seems to: have been omitted. The direction in Chapter XVI might be 
understood to apply to one parchment, or one sheet of paper. 


12 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


indigo;* and grind them together thoroughly, for thorough grinding 
will not spoil the tint. Temper it with your tempera as described 
above. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT PAPERS WITH REDDISH 
COLOR, OR ALMOST PEACH COLOR. 
CHAPTER XX 
If you wish to tint with a reddish color, take, for the number of 
sheets mentioned above, half an ounce of terre-verte; the size of two 
beans of coarse white lead; and as much as one bean of light sinoper.” 
Grind in the usual way; and so temper it with your size or tempera. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT PAPERS WITH FLESH COLOR. 
CHAPTER XXI 
Likewise, to make the tint a good flesh color, you should take, for 
the number of sheets mentioned, half an ounce of coarse white lead; 
and less than a bean of vermilion. And you should grind everything 
together; and temper in the regular way described above. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TINT PAPERS GREENISH GRAY, 
OR DRAB. 
CHAPTER XXII 

You will make a greenish gray, or drab, in this manner. First take a 
quarter of an ounce of coarse white lead; the size of a bean of light 
ocher; less than half a bean of black. Grind these things well together 
in the regular way. Temper as I have taught you for the others, always 
putting in, for each batch, at least as much as a bean of calcined bone. 
And this must suffice you for papers tinted in various ways. 


1 Coupled with the doubtful zxdacho macchabeo of L, the meaningless macalico of 
R suggests a joint heritage of illegibility, and we may venture to rationalize these read- 
ings as Baccadeo, “Bagdad,” to correspond with the form found in I, 34, |. 5. 

The Liber diversarum artium, in a chapter “De cognitione indici . . .,” ed. cit. 
supra, p. 750, states: “Diversis nominibus nominatur, quia in diversis partibus confici- 
tur; ergo bagadeus eligatur, et quod magis agurinum est.” 

2 See NED, s.v. “sinoper,” 2, a. 


TRACING PAPER 13 


HOW YOU MAY OBTAIN THE ESSENCE OF A GOOD 
FIGURE OR DRAWING WITH TRACING PAPER. 
CHAPTER XXIII 

You should be aware’ that there is also a paper known as tracing 
paper which may be very useful to you. To copy a head, or a figure, 
or a half figure, as you find it attractive,” by the hand of the great 
masters, and to get the outlines right, from paper, panel, or wall, 
which you want to take right off, put this tracing paper over the fig- 
ure or drawing, fastening it nicely at the four corners with a little red 
or green wax. Because of the transparency of the tracing paper, the 
figure or drawing underneath immediately shows through, in such 
shape and manner that you see it clearly. Then take either a pen cut 
quite fine or a fine brush of fine minever; and you may proceed to 
pick out with ink the outlines and accents of the drawing underneath; 
and in general to touch in shadows as far as you can see to do it. And 
then, lifting off the paper, you may touch it up with any high lights 


and reliefs, as you please. 


THE FIRST WAY TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE A CLEAR 
TRACING PAPER. 
CHAPTER XXIIII 
If you do not find any ready-made, you will need to make some of 
this tracing paper in this way. Take a kid parchment and give it to 
a parchment worker; and have it scraped so much that it barely holds 
together. And have him take care to scrape it evenly. It is transparent 
of itself. If you want it more transparent, take some clear and fine lin- 
seed oil; and smear it with some of this oil on a piece of cotton. Let it 
dry thoroughly, for the space of several days; and it will be perfect 
and good. 


1I, 12, 1. 30 should begin: “Bisogniati essere,” and the corresponding footnote 
should be: “30. L Biisongniati esere.” 

2 L aromo: literally, “savory.” The meaningless huon’ of R was corrected by the 
Milanesi to buono. The reading L is doubtless the right one. 


14 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


A SECOND WAY TO MAKE TRACING PAPER: WITH GLUE. 
CHAPTER XXV 

If you want to make this tracing paper in another way, take a good 
smooth slab of marble or porphyry. Then get some fish glue and some 
leaf glue, which the druggists sell. Put them to soak in clear water, 
and arrange to have one porringerful of clear water to six leaves. 
Then boil it until it is all melted, and after boiling strain it two or 
three times. Then take this size, all strained, melted, and warm, and 
a brush; and lay it on these slabs just the way you tint tinted papers. 
The slabs must be clean; and they should be greased with olive oil 
previously. And when this size which is laid on them has dried, take 
the point of a penknife, and start to pry this size far enough away 
from the slab here and there for you to get a grip on the skin or paper 
thus formed. And work cautiously, so as to pry this skin off the slab 
in the form of a paper, without damaging it. And if you want to 
find this skin or paper <more durable>* before you pry it off the slab, 
take some linseed oil, boiled the way I shall teach you for mordants; 
and with a soft brush lay a coat of it all over. And let it dry for two 
or three days, and it will be good tracing paper. 


HOW TO MAKE TRACING PAPER OUT OF PAPER. 
CHAPTER XXVI 
This same tracing paper which we have been discussing may be 
made out of paper, the paper, to begin with, being made very thin, 
smooth, and quite white. Then grease this paper with linseed oil, as 
described above. It becomes transparent, and it is good. 


HOW YOU SHOULD ENDEAVOR TO COPY AND DRAW 
AFTER AS FEW MASTERS AS POSSIBLE. 
CHAPTER XXVII 

Now you must forge ahead again, so that you may pursue the 
course of this theory. You have made your tinted papers; the next 
thing is to draw. You should adopt this method. Having first prac- 


1 Something seems to have been dropped from the text here. What follows is a 
method intended to overcome the tendency of “gelatine tracing paper” to cockle. 


THE STUDY OF DRAWING 15 


ticed drawing for a while as I have taught you above, that is, on a little 
panel, take pains and pleasure in constantly copying the best things 
which you can find done by the hand ot great masters. And if you are 
in a place where many good masters have been, so much the better 
for you. But I give you this advice: teke care to select the best one 
every time, and the one who has the greatest reputation. And, as you 
go on from day to day, it will be against nature if you do not get some 
grasp of his style and of his spirit. For if you undertake to copy after 
one master today and after another one tomorrow, you will not 
acquire the style of either one or the other, and you will inevitably, 
through enthusiasm, become capricious, because each style will be 
distracting your mind. You will try to work in this man’s way today, 
and in the other’s tomorrow, and so you will not get either of them 
right. If you follow the course of one man through constant practice, 
your intelligence would have to be crude indeed for you not to get 
some nourishment from it. Then you will find, if nature has granted 
you any imagination at all, that you will eventually acquire a style 
individual to yourself, and it cannot help being good; because your 
hand and your mind, being always accustomed to gather flowers, 
would ill know how to pluck thorns. 


HOW, BEYOND MASTERS, YOU SHOULD CONSTANTLY 
COPY FROM NATURE WITH STEADY PRACTICE. 
CHAPTER XXVIII 

Mind you, the most perfect steersman that you can have, and the 
best helm, lie in the triumphal gateway’ of copying from nature. And 
this outdoes all other models; and always rely on this with a stout 
heart, especially as you begin to gain some judgment in draftsman- 
ship. Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no 
matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and will do you a 


world of good. 


1 This unconventional figure of speech is fairly typical of Cennino when he aban- 
dons exposition for rhetoric. He seems to have had some half-formed conception of his 
course of study as an architectural layout, with steps rising and gates opening; but this 
is confused with ideas of journeys, by land and, as here, by sea. 


16 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD REGULATE YOUR LIFE IN THE IN- 
TERESTS OF DECORUM AND THE CONDITION OF 
YOUR HAND; AND IN WHAT COMPANY; AND 
WHAT METHOD YOU SHOULD FIRST 
ADOPT FOR COPYING A FIGURE 
FROM HIGH UP. 

CHAPTER XXVIIII 

Your life should always be arranged just as if you were studying 
theology, or philosophy, or other theories, that is to say, eating and 
drinking moderately, at least twice a day, electing digestible and 
wholesome dishes, and light wines; saving and sparing your hand, 
preserving it from such strains as heaving stones, crowbar," and many 
other things which are bad for your hand, from giving them a chance 
to weary it. There is another cause which, if you indulge it, can make 
your hand so unsteady that it will waver more, and flutter far more, 
than leaves do in the wind, and this is indulging too much in the 
company of woman. Let us get back to our subject. Have a sort of 
pouch made of pasteboard,” or just thin wood, made large enough in 
every dimension for you to put in a royal folio, that is, a half; and this 
is good for you to keep your drawings in, and likewise to hold the 
paper on for drawing. Then always go out alone, or in such company 
as will be inclined to do as you do, and not apt to disturb you. And 
the more understanding this company displays, the better it is for you. 
When you are in churches or chapels, and beginning to draw, con- 
sider, in the first place, from what section you think you wish to copy 
a scene or figure; and notice where its darks and half tones and high 
lights come; and this means that you have to apply your shadow with 
washes of ink; to leave the natural ground in the half tones; and to 


apply the high lights with white lead. 


1See Filippo Baldinucci, Vocabolario toscano dell’arte del disegno, s.v. “palo,” in 
his Opere (Milan, 1809), III, 33, 34. 

2 Fogli inchollati: literally, “sheets glued,” or “sized,” or “pasted.” I understand 
this to mean sheets of paper pasted together for greater thickness and strength. Sheets 
of paper glued together at the edges to produce a large surface for a full-sized cartoon 
are called for in I, 106, ll. 10, 11: sfogli di charta inchollati insieme. (See p. 111, below.) 


CHARCOAL AND WASH DRAWING 17 


HOW YOU SHOULD FIRST START DRAWING ON PAPER 
WITH CHARCOAL, AND TAKE THE MEASUREMENT 
OF THE FIGURE, AND FIX IT WITH A 
SILVER STYLE. 

CHAPTER XXX 

First take the charcoal, slender, and sharpened like a pen, or like 
your style; and, as the prime measurement which you adopt for draw- 
ing, adopt one of the three which the face has, for it has three of them 
altogether : the forehead, the nose, and the chin, including the mouth. 
And if you adopt one of these, it serves you as a standard for the whole 
figure, for the buildings and from one figure to another; and it is a 
perfect standard for you provided you use your judgment in estimat- 
ing how to apply these measurements.” And the reason for doing this 
is that the scene or figure will be too high up for you to reach it with 
your hand to measure it off. You have to be guided by judgment; and 
if you are so guided, you will arrive at the truth. And if the propor- 
tion of your scene or figure does not come out right at the first go, 
take a feather, and rub with the barbs of this feather—chicken or 
goose, as may be—and sweep the charcoal off what you have drawn. 
That drawing will disappear. And keep starting it over from the be- 
ginning until you see that your figure agrees in proportion with the 
model. And then, when you feel that it is about right, take the silver 
style and go over the outlines and accents of your drawings, and over 
the dominant folds, to pick them out. When you have got this done, 
take the barbed feather once more, and sweep the charcoal off thor- 


oughly; and your drawing will remain, fixed by the style. 


HOW YOU SHOULD DRAW AND SHADE WITH WASHES 
ON TINTED PAPER, AND THEN PUT LIGHTS 
ON WITH WHITE LEAD. 
CHAPTER XXXI 

When you have mastered the shading, take a rather blunt brush; 
and with a wash of ink in a little dish proceed to mark out the course 
of the dominant folds with this brush; and then proceed to blend the 
dark part of the fold, following its course. And this wash ought to be 


1 See n. 6, p. 43, below. 


18 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


practically like water, just a little tinted, and the brush ought to be 
almost always practically dry. Without trying to hurry, go on shading 
little by little, always going back with this brush into the darkest 
areas. Do you know what will come of it?—If this water is just a little 
tinted, and you shade with enjoyment, and without hurrying, you will 
get your shadows well blended, just like smoke. Remember always 
to work with the flat of the brush. When you have gone as far 
as you can with this shading, take a drop or two of ink and put it 
into this wash, and mix it up well with this brush. And then in the 
same way pick out the very bottoms of those folds with this brush, 
picking out their foundations carefully; always remembering your 
<system of> shading, that is, to divide into three sections: one section, 
shadow; the next, the color of your ground; the next, with lights put 
on it. When you have got this done, take a little white lead well worked 
up with gum arabic. (I will explain this to you later on, how this gum 
is to be dissolved and melted; and I will explain about all the tem- 
peras.) Ever so little white lead is enough. Have some clear water in 
a little dish, and moisten this same brush of yours in it; and rub it over 
this ground white lead in the little dish, especially if this is dried up. 
Then dress it on the back of your hand or your thumb, shaping and 
squeezing out this brush, and getting it empty, practically draining it. 
And begin rubbing the brush flat over and into the areas where the 
high light and relief are to come; and proceed to go over them many 
times with your brush, and handle it judiciously. Then, for the ac- 
cents of the reliefs, in the greatest prominence, take a pointed brush, 
and touch in with white lead with the tip of this brush, and crisp up 
the tops of these high lights. Then proceed to crisp up with a small 
brush, with straight ink, marking out the folds, the outlines, noses, 
eyes, and the divisions in the hairs and beards. 


HOW YOU MAY PUT ON LIGHTS WITH WASHES OF 
WHITE LEAD JUST AS YOU SHADE WITH 
WASHES OF INK. 

CHAPTER XXXII 


I advise you, furthermore, when you get to be more experienced, to 
try to put on lights perfectly with a wash, just as you do the wash of 


HOW TO MAKE CHARCOAL 19 


ink. Take white lead ground with water, and temper it with yolk of 
egg; and it blends like an ink wash, but it is harder for you to handle, 
and more experience is needed. All this is known as drawing on tinted 
paper, and it is the path to lead you to the profession of painting. 
Follow it constantly as much as you can, for it is the essence of your 
study. Apply yourself to it enthusiastically, and with great enjoyment 
and pleasure. 


HOW TO MAKE GOOD AND PERFECT AND SLENDER 
COALS FOR DRAWING. 
CHAPTER XXXIII 

Before going any farther, I want to show you in what fashion you 
should make the coals for drawing. Take a nice, dry, willow stick; 
and make some little slips of it the length of the palm of your hand, 
or, say, four fingers. Then divide these pieces like match sticks; and 
do them up like a bunch of matches. But first smooth them and 
sharpen them at each end, like spindles. Then tie them up in bunches 
this way, in three places to the bunch, that is, in the middle and at 
each end, with a thin copper or iron wire. Then take a brand-new 
casserole, and put in enough of them to fill up the casserole. Then get 
a lid to cover it, <luting it> with clay,* so that nothing can evaporate 
from it in any way.Then go to the baker’s in the evening, after he has 
stopped work, and put this casserole into the oven; and let it stay there 
until morning; and see whether these coals are well roasted, and good 
and black. If you find that they are not roasted enough, you must put 
the casserole back into the oven, for them to get roasted. How are you 
to tell whether they are all right? —Take one of these coals and draw 
on some plain or tinted paper, or on a gessoed panel or ancona. And 
if you find that the charcoal takes, it is all right; and if it is roasted too 
much, it does not hold together in drawing, but breaks into many 
pieces. I will also give you another method for making these coals: 
take a little earthenware baking pan, covered as described above; put 
it under the fire in the evening, and cover this fire well with ashes; 
and go to bed. In the morning they will be roasted. And you may 


1 Crea. See n. 3, p. 129, below. 


20 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


make big coals and little ones in the same way; and make them to suit 
yourself, for there are no better coals anywhere. 


ABOUT A STONE WHICH HAS THE CHARACTER OF 
CHARCOAL FOR DRAWING. 
CHAPTER XXXIIII 
ENDS THE FIRST SECTION OF THIS BOOK. 


Also for drawing, I have come across a certain black stone, which 
comes from Piedmont; this is a soft stone; and it can be sharpened 
with a penknife, for it is soft. It is very black. And you can bring it to 
the same perfection as charcoal. And draw as you want to. 


THE SECOND SECTION OF THIS BOOK: 
BRINGING YOU TO THE WORKING UP OF THE COLORS. 
CHAPTER XXXV 


To approach the glory of the profession step by step, let us come 
to the working up of the colors, informing you which are the choicest 
colors, and the coarsest, and the most fastidious; which one needs to 
be worked up or ground but little, which a great deal; which one 
calls for one tempera, which requires another; and just as they differ 
in their colors, so do they also in the characters of their temperas and 
their working up. 


THIS SHOWS YOU THE NATURAL COLORS, AND HOW 
YOU SHOULD GRIND BLACK. 
CHAPTER XXXVI 


Know that there are seven natural colors,* or rather, four actually 
mineral in character, namely, black, red, yellow, and green; three are 


1 Cennino makes his bow to an old tradition in mentioning the number “seven” 
here. As Albertus Magnus says, “si quis . . . ad speciem et materiam descendat, erunt 
amplioris diversitatis.”” (Liber de sensu et sensato, Tract. II, Cap. VII, in ed. A. Borgnet, 
Opera Omnia [Paris, 1890], IX, 60, col. 2.) Albertus explains (op. cit., Tract. Il, 
Cap. V, ed. cit., IX, 53) that colors are divided arbitrarily into seven in order to bring 
them into harmony with the classifications of “saporum et sonorum et aliorum sensi- 
bilium. . . . Una ratio est de omnibus.” The number of colors was linked also with 
the number of planets. (See J. LeBegue, Tabula etc., s.v. “color,” in Mrs. Mary P. 
Merrifield, Original Treatises Dating from the xiith to xvitith Centuries, on the Arts of 
Painting . . . [London, 1849], I, 23.) The De arte illuminandi, ed. cit., p. 68, men- 
tions seven colors, “naturales . . . ac necessarii ad illuminandum.” The theoretical 


GRINDING THE COLORS 21 


natural colors, but need to be helped artificially, as lime white, blues— 
ultramarine, azurite’"—giallorino.* Let us go no farther, but return to 
the black color. To work it up properly, take a slab of red porphyry, 
which is a strong and solid stone; for there are various kinds of slabs 
for grinding colors, such as porphyry, serpentine, and marble. Serpen- 
tine is a soft stone and is not good; marble is still worse, for it is too 
soft. But porphyry is best of all; and it will be better if you get one of 
those which are not so very much polished, and a foot* or more in 
width, and square. Then get a stone to hold in your hand, also of 
porphyry, flat underneath, and rounded on top in the shape of a 
porringer, and smaller than a porringer, shaped so that your hand may 
be able to guide it readily, and to move it this way and that, at will. 
Then take a portion of this black, or of any other color, the size of a 
nut; and put it on this stone, and with the one which you hold in 
your hand crush this black up thoroughly. Then take some clear 
river or fountain or well water, and grind this black for the space of 
half an hour, or an hour, or as long as you like; but know that if you 
were to work it up for a year it would be so much the blacker and 
better a color. Then get a thin wooden slice,” three fingers broad; and 


arrangement of seven is described as follows by Bartholomaeus Anglicus, Liber de 
proprietatibus rerum, XIX, 5: 

“Nigrum et album concurrant equaliter ad compositiones coloris medii, et tunc erit 
color equedistans inter extremos ut rubedo. Inter album vero et rubeum non possunt 
esse nisi duo, unus magis appropinquabit albo, et alius rubeo. Inter rubeum vero et 
nigrum erunt similiter duo.” 

The distinction between “natural” and “artificial” colors is also an ancient one. Vin- 
cent of Beauvais, Speculum naturale, VII, 97, points out that “colores . . . quidam ex 
terra vel in terra nascuntur. . . . Quidam vero finguntur: aut arte, aut permixtione.” 
(Pliny, Historia naturalis, XXXV, 6, is his authority. See also Isidore of Seville, Etym., 
XIX, 17, 2.) 

2 R: “ultramarine or azurite.” For “‘azurite” see above, Preface, p. xiii. 

$ See above, Preface, p. xv; also n. 2, p- 28, below. 

4 Mezzo braccio. See above, Preface, p. xiii. 

® Steccha di legnio. For the tool “slice,” see NED, s.v., Il, 5. (Cf. also idem, Il, 4, a; 
4, b, and 7, a.) Sfecca, “spatula,” must be distinguished from mella, also a “spatula,” 
for which I reserve that word. In the stecca, “slice,” the edge of the blade runs at right 
angles to the axis of the handle, as in a putty knife, or painter’s “broad knife.” The 
mella, on the other hand, has a blade with its edges parallel with the axis of the handle, 
like a table knife. The stecca is handled in a position roughly vertical; the media, rather 
horizontal. The use of this word “slice,” for the implement in question here, I owe to 
the designer of this volume, Mr. Carl P. Rollins, who informs me that just such a tool 
is used by printers to handle ink on the slab. An illustration of a slice, ready for the 


22 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


it should have an edge like a knife; and scrape over the slab with this 
edge, and gather the color up neatly; and always keep it liquid, and 
not too dry, so that it may run well on the stone, and so that you may 
be able to grind it thoroughly, and gather it up well. Then put it into 
the little jar, and put enough of the aforesaid clear water in with it to 
fill up the jar; and always keep it under water in this way, and well 
covered from dust and all contamination, say in a little chest arranged 
to hold several jars of liquors.° 


HOW TO MAKE VARIOUS SORTS OF BLACK. 
CHAPTER XXXVII 

Know that there are several kinds of black colors. There is a black 
which is a soft, black stone; it is a fat color.* Bearing in mind that 
every lean color is better than the fat one (except that, for gilding, the 
fatter the bole or terre-verte which you get for gilding on panel, the 
better the gold comes out), let us leave this section. Then there is a 
black which is made from vine twigs; these twigs are to be burned; 
and when they are burnt, throw water on them, and quench them; 
and then work them up like the other black. And this is a color both 
black and lean; and it is one of the perfect colors which we employ; 
and it is the whole. . . .* There is another black which is made from 
burnt almond shells or peach stones, and this is a perfect black, and 
fine. There is another black which is made in this manner: take a 
lamp full of linseed oil, and fill the lamp with this oil, and light the 
lamp. Then put it, so lighted, underneath a good clean baking dish, 
and have the little flame of the lamp come about to the bottom of the 
dish, two or three fingers away, and the smoke which comes out of 


color grinder’s use, may be found in the Titelbild of the first book of Valentin Boltz 
von Ruffach’s Illuminierbuch, wie man allerley farben bereitte, mischen, schattieren 
unnd ufftragen soll . . . (Basel, 1549); in C. J. Benziger’s edition in Sammlung mal- 
technischer Schriften, \V (Munich: Callwey, 1913), facing p. 32. 

® R, “several jars of varied colors.” I have ordinarily translated vaselli as “dishes,” 
and vasellini as “little dishes”; but here something in the nature of a jar is surely in- 
tended. (Very convenient little wide-mouthed bottles holding an ounce or two, provided 
with screw caps of non-rusting material, can be obtained nowadays for the purpose.) 

1 See Preface, p. xii. 

2 The conclusion of this sentence has been lost from the text; and there seems to be 
no evidence for reconstructing it. 


SINOPER AND CINABRESE 23 


the flame will strike on the bottom of the dish, and condense in a 
mass. Wait a while; take the baking dish, and with some implement 
sweep this color, that is, this soot, off on to a paper, or into some dish; 
and it does not have to be worked up or ground, for it is a very fine 
color. Refill the lamp with the oil in this way several times, and put 
it back under the dish; and make as much of it in this way as you 
need. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF THE RED COLOR CALLED 
SINOPER. 
CHAPTER XXXVIII 
A natural color known as sinoper, or porphyry, is red; and this color 
is lean and dry in character. It stands working up well; for the more it 
is worked up, the finer it becomes. It is good for use on panel or 
anconas, or on the wall, in fresco or in secco. And I will explain this 
“fresco” and “secco” to you when we discuss working on the wall. 


And let this do for the first red. 


HOW TO MAKE THE RED CALLED CINABRESE, FOR 
DOING FLESH ON THE WALL; AND ABOUT 
ITS CHARACTER. 
CHAPTER XXXVIIII 
A color known as light cinabrese is red, and as far as I know this 
color is not used anywhere but in Florence; and it is very perfect for 
doing flesh, or making the flesh colors of figures on a wall; and use it 
in fresco. This color is made of the handsomest and lightest sinoper 
obtainable;* and it is mixed and worked up with lime white;* and this 
white is made from very white and well-purified lime. And when 
these two colors are well worked up together, that is, the two parts 


1 There seems to be a distinction intended in this chapter between “cinabrese” and 
“light cinabrese.” The color cinabrese proper seems to have been a reselected light va- 
riety of sinoper, perhaps corresponding to Pozzuoli red of modern trade. Two parts of 
this ground with one of lime white produced the color light cinabrese. Cennino does 
not make very clear this distinction, which may possibly boil down to a mere slip of 
the pen: cinabrese for sinopia in the next sentence. (See I, 23, |. 22.) But “light cina- 
brese” is specified several times in Chapter LXVII, pp. 42, 47, below. 

2 Literally, “with St. John’s white, as it is called in Florence.” 


24 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


cinabrese® and the third lime white, make little cakes of it, like halves 
of nuts, and let them dry. Whenever you need some, take what you 
think fit; for this color does you great credit in painting countenances, 
hands, and nudes on the wall, as I have said. And you can make 
handsome costumes with it sometimes, which, on the wall, will seem 
to be vermilion.* 


ON THE CHARACTER OF THE RED CALLED VERMILION; 
AND HOW IT SHOULD BE WORKED UP. 
CHAPTER XL 

A color known as vermilion is red; and this color is made by al- 
chemy, prepared in a retort. I am leaving out the system for this, be- 
cause it would be too tedious to set forth in my discussion all the 
methods and receipts. Because, if you want to take the trouble, you 
will find plenty of receipts for it, and especially by asking of the friars. 
But I advise you rather to get some of that which you find at the drug- 
gists’ for your money, so as not to lose time in the many variations of 
procedure. And I will teach you how to buy it, and to recognize the 
good vermilion. Always buy vermilion unbroken, and not pounded or 
ground. The reason? Because it is generally adulterated, either with 
red lead or with pounded brick. Examine the unbroken lump of ver- 
milion; and at the top, where the structure’ is most spread out and deli- 
cate, that is the best. Then put this on the aforesaid slab, and grind 
it with clear water as much as ever you can; for if you were to grind it 
every day for twenty years, it would still be better and more perfect. 
This color calls for various temperas, according to the situations in 
which you have to use it, which we shall deal with later on; and I 
will teach you where it is most appropriate. But bear in mind that it is 
Not its nature to be exposed to the air, but it stands up better on panel 
than on the wall; because, in the course of time, from exposure to the 
air, it turns black when it is used and laid on the wall. 





8 Read sinoper? See n. 1, p. 23, above. 

4 The name of this color, cinabrese, suggests its resemblance to vermilion (cinabro), 
for which it was used as a substitute in fresco. (At the end of this chapter XL, Cennino 
mentions the fact that vermilion should not be used in fresco.) 

1 Tiglio. This refers to the crystalline formation. See n. 1, p. 25, and n. 4, p. 82, 
below. 


RED LEAD AND HEMATITE 25 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A RED CALLED RED LEAD. 
CHAPTER XLI 


A color known as red lead is red, and it is manufactured by alchemy. 
This color is good only for working on panel, for if you use it on the 
wall it soon turns black, on exposure to the air, and loses its color. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A RED CALLED HEMATITE. 
CHAPTER XLII 


A color known as hematite is red. This color is natural, and it is a 
very strong and solid stone. And it is so solid and perfect that stones 
and crooks are made of it for burnishing gold on panel;” and they 
acquire a black and perfect color, dark as a diamond.* The pure stone 
is the color of purple or turnsole, and has a structure like vermilion.* 
Pound this stone in a bronze mortar at first, because if you broke it up 
on your porphyry slab you might crack it. And when you have got it 
pounded, put on the slab as much of it as you want to work up, and 
grind it with clear water; and the more you work it up, the better and 
more perfect color it becomes. This color is good on the wall, for 
working in fresco; and makes a color for you like a cardinal’s,’ or a 


1 Amatisto, o ver amatito: “hematite” >Greek Al0oc aiuatitnc, from alua, 
“blood.” This is the stone from which Cennino’s burnishers were made. (See Chapter 
CXXXVI, p. 82, below.) It is still used for making burnishers (though, as far as I 
know, now only for gold- and silver-smiths), and these appear in trade as “Bloodstone 
burnishers.” 

Bloodstone, properly called hematite, consists principally of ferric oxide, Fe2Os, sub- 
stantially pure. It occurs in several well-marked forms in nature: (1) amorphous, as a 
sort of reddle or sinoper; (2) “kidney ore,” which, as the name implies, is reniform 
in structure; (3) ‘pencil ore,” which has a straight grain; (4) “specular iron-ore,” a 
tabular, crystalline form which corresponds exactly with Cennino’s description in Chap- 
ter CXXXVI, p. 82, below. It is this crystalline form which Cennino uses for making 
burnishers; and the same form which he pounds and grinds up for use as a color. This 
is made certain by his statement in this chapter that it “has a structure like cinnabar,” 
for specular iron ore, like most native cinnabar, crystallizes in the hexagonal system, 
with rhombohedral symmetry. 

2 See Chapter CXXXVI, p. 82, below. Note that dentelli, “crooks,” are made from 
this hematite: these are not to be confused with burnishers made of animals’ teeth, 
denti. See n. 2 on Chapter CXXXV, below. 

8 Perhaps “as adamant”? See n. 4, p. 83, below. 

4 See n. 1, above. 

5 See Mrs. Mary P. Merrifield, Original Treatises . . . (London, 1849), II, 327. (Cf. 
also, ibid., p. 453, “Bolognese Manuscript,” $ 136: “A fare perfecto collore de grana 
cardinalesco cum verzino. . . .”’) 


26 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


purple, or lac color. It is not good to try to use it for other things, or 
with temperas. | 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A RED CALLED 
DRAGONSBLOOD. 
CHAPTER XLIII 


A color known as dragonsblood is red. This color is used occasion- 
ally on parchment, for illuminating. But leave it alone, and do not 
have too much respect for it; for it is not of a constitution to do you 
much credit. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A RED CALLED LAC. 
CHAPTER XLIIII 


A color known as lac is red, and it is an artificial color. And I have 
various receipts for it; but I advise you, for the sake of your works, to 
get the color ready-made for your money. But take care to recognize 
the good kind, because there are several types of it. Some lake? is made 
from the shearings of cloth,* and it is very attractive to the eye. Be- 
ware of this type, for it always retains some fatness in it, because of 
the alum,* and does not last at all, either with temperas or without 
temperas, and quickly loses its color. Take good care to avoid this; 


1 Lacca. I translate this “lac,” rather than “lake,” because of the indefinite character 
of the latter. Cennino meant specifically “lac lake,” that is, a lake which is made from 
the gum Jac, “the dark-red resinous incrustation produced on certain trees” (resiniferous 
species of the genera Schleichera, Butea, Ficus, etc.) by an insect, Coccus or Carteria 
lacca. (See NED, s.v. “lac,”1 1, 2; also Merck’s Index [1930], s.v. “shellac.”) “Lake” 
originally signified the color made from “lac,”1 1, but gradually took on a wider mean- 
ing, and the original connection with lac proper is now almost wholly forgotten. 

2 Here lacca is used in the general sense of a “lake” color, an organic coloring matter 
precipitated out on a metallic base, in this case, alumina. 

No general classification of medieval receipts for “lakes” can be attempted here, but 
two rules may be cited: the first, found in Merrifield, op. cit., 1, 63, in the Experimenta 
de coloribus, § 37, may serve to represent the manufacture of what Cennino calls “the 
good kind”; while the second, ibid., p. 53, § 13, “Ad faciendum lacham finissimam,” 
may stand for the type which he condemns. 

8 Cimatura di drappo, o ver di panno. Drappo seems to imply a silk material, as 
zendado does; panno may refer to wool or linen. 

4 The “Bolognese Manuscript,” $ 110, in Merrifield, op. cit., Il, 433-435, mentions 
specifically that “quando [sic] se fa quella purgationi de lo allumi, tanto e piu bella, 
piu viva, et melglio.” 


YELLOW OCHER 27 


but get the lac which is made from gum;° and it is dry, lean, granu- 
lar, and looks almost black, and contains a sanguine color. This 
kind cannot be other than good and perfect. Take this, and work it 
up on your slab; grind it with clear water. And it is good on panel; 
and it is also used on the wall with a tempera; but the air is its un- 
doing. There are those who grind it with urine; but it becomes un- 
pleasant, for it promptly goes bad. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW COLOR 
CALLED OCHER. 
CHAPTER XLV 

A natural color known as ocher is yellow. This color is found in the 
earth in the mountains, where there are found certain seams resem- 
bling sulphur; and where these seams are, there is found sinoper, and 
terre-verte and other kinds of color. I found this when I was guided 
one day by Andrea Cennini, my father, who led me through the 
territory of Colle di Val d’Elsa, close to the borders of Casole, at the 
beginning of the forest of the commune of Colle, above a township 
called Dometaria. And upon reaching a little valley, a very wild steep 
place, scraping the steep with a spade, I beheld seams of many kinds 
of color: ocher, dark and light sinoper, blue, and white; and this I 
held the greatest wonder in the world—that white could exist in a 
seam of earth; advising you that I made a trial of this white, and 
found it fat, unfit for flesh color. In this place there was also a seam of 
black color. And these colors showed up in this earth just the way a 
wrinkle shows in the face of a man or woman. 

To go back to the ocher color, I picked out the “wrinkle” of this 
color with a penknife; and I do assure you that I never tried a hand- 
somer, more perfect ocher color. It did not come out so light as gial- 
lorino; a little bit darker; but for hair, and for costumes, as I shall 
teach you later, I never found a better color than this. Ocher color is 
of two sorts, light and dark. Each color calls for the same method of 
working up with clear water; and work it up thoroughly, for it goes 
on getting better. And know that this ocher is an all-round color, 


5 See n. 1, p. 26, above. 


28 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


especially for work in fresco; for it is used, with other mixtures, as I 
shall explain to you, for flesh colors, for draperies, for painted moun- 
tains, and buildings and horses, and in general for many purposes. 
And this color is coarse by nature." 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW COLOR 
CALLED GIALLORINO.? 
CHAPTER XLVI 

A color known as giallorino is yellow, and it isa manufactured one. 
It is very solid, and heavy as a stone, and hard to break up. This color 
is used in fresco, and lasts forever, that is, on the wall; and on panel, 
with temperas. This color is to be ground, like the others aforesaid, 
with clear water. It does not want to be worked up very much, and, 
since it is very troublesome to reduce it to powder, you will do well to 
pound it in a bronze mortar, as you have to do with the hematite, 
before you work it up. And when you have made use of it, it is a very 
handsome yellow color; for with this color, with other mixtures, as 
I will show you, attractive foliage and grass colors are made. And as 
I understand it, this color is actually a mineral, originating in the 
neighborhood of great volcanoes; so I tell you that it is a color pro- 


duced artificially, though not by alchemy. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW CALLED 
ORPIMENT. 
CHAPTER XLVII 


A color known as orpiment is yellow. This color is an artificial 
one. It is made by alchemy, and is really poisonous. And in color it is 


1 In choosing between the readings grasso, with R, and grosso, with L, it is neces- 
sary to weigh several factors. In the neighborhood of Colle, Cennino might well have 
found the color which we know as “Raw Sienna.” This is generically an ocher, and it 
is characteristically a “fat”? color. Against this must be set the insistence of Cennino 
upon the virtue of “lean” colors (Chapter XXXVII, p. 22, above); his remark just 
above, that there are “two sorts, light and dark” (well marked in the ochers proper); 
and the fact that ocher is actually “coarse by nature.” I think that the reading grosso, 
with L, must be preferred. É 

2 The identification of this color must be attempted in a future study. For practical 
purposes, massicot, a yellow oxide of lead, prepared by roasting white lead, may be 
employed. Natural massicot, of volcanic origin, is known; but it is not generally avail- 
able. 


REALGAR AND SAFFRON 29 


a handsome yellow more closely resembling gold than any other 
color. It is not good for use on a wall, either in fresco or with tem- 
peras, because it turns black on exposure to the air. It is very good 
for painting on shields and lances. A mixture of some of this color 
with Bagdad indigo gives a green color for grasses and foliage. Its 
tempera calls for nothing but size. Sparrowhawks are physicked with 
this color against a certain illness which affects them. And this color 
is, to start with, the most refractory color to work up that there is in 
our profession. And so, when you want to work it up, put the amount 
you want on to your stone; and, with the one which you hold in your 
hand, proceed to coax it, little by little, so as to squeeze it from one 
stone to the other, mixing in a little of the glass of a broken goblet, 
because the powder of the glass attracts the orpiment to the roughness 
of the stone. When you have got it powdered, put some clear water on 
it, and work it up as much as you can; for if you were to work it for 
ten years, it would constantly become more perfect. Beware of soiling 
your mouth with it, lest you suffer personal injury. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW WHICH IS 
CALLED REALGAR. 
CHAPTER XLVIII 

A yellow color known as realgar is yellow. This color is really 
poisonous. We do not use it, except sometimes on panel. There is no 
keeping company with it. When you want to work it up," adopt those 
measures which I have taught you for the other colors. It wants to be 

ground a great deal with clear water. And look out for yourself. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW CALLED SAFFRON. 
CHAPTER XLVIIII 
A color which is made from an herb called saffron is yellow. You 
should put it on a linen cloth, over a hot stone or brick. Then take 
half a goblet or glass full of good strong lye. Put this saffron in it; 
work it up on the slab. This makes a fine color for dyeing linen or 
cloth. It is good on parchment. And see that it is not exposed to the 








1], 28, footnote, “20. L Volendolo . . . macinare”: for “20” read “30.” 


30 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


air, for it soon loses its color. And if you want to make the most perfect 
grass color imaginable, take a little verdigris and some saffron; that 
is, of the three parts let one be saffron; and it comes out the most 
perfect grass-green imaginable, tempered with a little size, as I will 
show you later. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A YELLOW CALLED ARZICA. 
CHAPTER L 

A color known as arzica is yellow; and this color is made alchemi- 
cally, and is but little used. Working with this color is chiefly a matter 
for illuminators; and it is used more in the neighborhood of Florence 
than anywhere else. This is a very thin color. It fades in the open; it is 
not good on the wall; it is all right on panel. It makes a lovely green if 
you mix in a little azurite and giallorino. Like the other choice colors 
it wants to be ground with clear water. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A GREEN CALLED 
TERRE-VERTE. 
CHAPTER LI 

A natural earth color which is called terre-verte is green. This color 
has several qualities: first, that it is a very fat color. It is good for use in 
faces, draperies, buildings, in fresco, in secco, on wall, on panel, and 
wherever you wish. Work it up with clear water, like the other colors 
mentioned above; and the more you work it up, the better it will be. 
And, if you temper it as I shall show you <for> the bole for gilding, 
you may gild with this terre-verte in the same way. And know that the 
ancients never used to gild on panel except with this green. 


1 The pigment intended here is probably a preparation of weld, “dyers’ weed,” 
Reseda luteola. A rule “A fare |’arzica bona et bella” occurs in the “Bolognese Manu- 
script,” § 194 (Merrifield, op. cit., II, 483-485), which very likely represents the manu- 
facture of the pigment known to Cennino by the same name. A pound of the chopped 
plant is soaked in water sufficient to cover it, and boiled down to a half. Then two 
ounces of finely ground travertine, or an equal weight of white lead, together with a 
half ounce of rock alum, are added gradually to the hot tincture. The precipitate is 
allowed to settle, and is then dried off in a hollowed brick, and then on a board. 
Reseda luteola is a common weed in Europe, and has been reported as growing wild 
on Long Island, N. Y. 


MALACHITE GREEN 31 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A GREEN CALLED 

MALACHITE.* 

CHAPTER LII 
A half natural color is green; and this is produced artificially, for 
it is formed out of azurite; and it is called malachite. I will not tell you 
how it is produced, but buy it ready-made. This color is good in secco, 
with a tempera of yolk of egg, for making trees and foliage, and for 
laying in. And put the lights on it with giallorino. This color is rather 
coarse by nature, and looks like fine sand. For the sake of the color, 
work it up very, very little, with a light touch; for if you were to 
grind it too much, it would come out a dingy and ashy color.” It should 
be worked up with clear water; and when you have got it worked 
up, put it into the dish; put some clear water over the color, and stir 
the water up well with the color. Then let it stand for the space of one 


1 Verde azurro: literally, “blue green.” The following chapter serves to identify 
Cennino’s verde azurro as malachite, and also Cennino’s azurro della Magna as azurite. 
It is curious to note that all translators of this chapter have overlooked the force of 
the che in the opening sentence: “. . . questo si fa artifitialmente, chessi fa d’azurro 
della Mangnia.” (All the Italian editions interpret this correctly as “‘ché si fa.””) Cen- 
nino’s point is based on the fact that in nature the green hydrated copper carbonate, 
malachite, CuCO;- Cu(OH)2, is formed gradually out of the blue carbonate, azurite, 
2CuCO;- Cu(OH)2, the two being often found blended in a single sample of ore. Just 
as in the case of giallorino, in Chapter XLVI, p. 28, above, Cennino drew the line at 
calling any material “natural” which was produced by anything so alchemical in char- 
acter as a volcano, so here he attempts a subtle distinction: “I cannot say that this green 
is absolutely a natural color,” he implies, “because it is formed out of this blue. I re- 
gard the blue as natural enough, but I cannot allow that a green formed from it is more 
than half natural, even though it be found in nature.” Mrs. Merrifield and Lady Her- 
ringham translate: “There is a green [pigment] which is partly natural, but requires 
artificial preparation. It is made of azzurro della magna.” Ilg translates: “Griin ist 
auch eine Farbe, welche natirlich ist, die man aber auch kiinstlich erzeugt, dann macht 
man sie aus Azzurro della Magna.” I think that Cennino was simply quibbling. No 
artificial preparation is required for malachite, beyond the simple process of grinding 
and washing which Cennino describes. There are relatively few references to it in the 
literature; and none, so far as I know, to any method for manufacturing it artificially 
from the blue. 

2 This caution makes certain the identification of verde azurro with malachite. The 
green color of this pigment practically disappears if the crystals are ground too fine. 
Malachite green is easily recognized by its blue-green color, and sandy, crusty surface. 
No other green pigment, known to have been used in the Middle Ages, and possessing 
the characteristics assigned to verde azurro in this chapter, stands in the close relation 
to a blue pigment which Cennino specifies for this, as malachite does to azurite. I 
therefore feel justified in translating verde azurro as “malachite,” and azurro della 
Magna, as “‘azurite.” (See n. 1, p. 35, below.) 


32 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


hour, or two or three; and pour off the water; and the green will be 
more beautiful. And wash it this way two or three times, and it will 
be still more beautiful. 


HOW YOU MAKE A GREEN WITH ORPIMENT 
AND INDIGO. 
CHAPTER LIII 


A color which is made of orpiment, two parts, and one part indigo, 
is green; and it is worked up well with clear water. This color is good 
for painting shields and lances, and is also used for painting rooms in 
secco. It does not want any tempera except size. 


HOW YOU MAKE A GREEN WITH BLUE AND 
GIALLORINO. 
CHAPTER LIIII 


A color which is made of azurite and giallorino is green. This is 
good on wall and on panel. It is tempered with yolk of egg. If you 
want it to be more beautiful, put in a little arzica. And also it will be 
a handsome color if you put into the azurite some wild plums,* crush- 
ing them up; and make a verjuice of them, and put four or six drops 
of this verjuice on this azurite; and it will be a beautiful green. It will 
not stand exposure to the air; and in the course of time the juice of the 
plums will eventually disappear. 


1 Prungnole salvatiche: These are not necessarily the fruit of any tree known to mod- 
ern botany as a Prunus. They may be identical with the pruni meroli or prugnamerolt, 
of the De arte illuminandi (ed. de La Marche, cit. supra, pp. 71, 83, 84), which the 
author tells us were found near Rome. Petrus de Sancto Audemaro, § 159 (Merrifield, 
op. cit., 1, 127), speaks of adding some succum cerosium to a mixed green, apparently 
to improve the color. So far, a member of the large family of Prunus seems to be sug- 
gested: possibly P. spinosa. 

As far as I have been able to learn, no Prunus fruits produce a juice of a strong 
yellow color (I have every reason to believe that that of P. spinosa is a rich red); and 
it is evident from the use made of them by Cennino that the prungnole salvatiche were 
either very yellow or green. The “Bolognese Manuscript,” § 96 (Merrifield, op. cit., II, 
423-425), “Affare verde azurro” (not to be confused with the verde azurro of Cen- 
nino), describes a green made from blue stained with saffron, and mentions as alterna- 
tives to the saffron, “quella terra gialla tenta cum lo sugo de spino gerbino et vira 
verde; o vero cum lo sugo de spino gerbino.” This spino gerbino, the use of which 
parallels so closely that of the prugnole in Cennino’s rule, is a variety of Rhamnus. 
Niccolo Tommaseo, Dizionario, s.v. “cervino,” states: “Per lo piu è aggiunto d’una 


MIXED GREENS 33 


HOW YOU MAKE A GREEN WITH ULTRAMARINE BLUE. 
CHAPTER LV 


A color which is made of ultramarine blue and orpiment is green. 
You must combine these colors prudently. Take the orpiment first, 
and mix the blue with it. If you want it to incline toward light, let the 
orpiment predominate; if you want it to incline toward dark, let the 
blue prevail. This color is good on panel, but not on the wall. Temper 
it with size. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF A GREEN CALLED VERDIGRIS. 
CHAPTER LVI 


A color known as verdigris is green. It is very green by itself. And 
it is manufactured by alchemy, from copper and vinegar. This color 
is good on panel, tempered with size. Take care never to get it near 
any white lead, for they are mortal enemies in every respect. Work it 
up with vinegar, which it retains in accordance with its nature. And 
if you wish to make a most perfect green for grass . . .,' it is beauti- 
ful to the eye, but it does not last. And it is especially good on paper 
or parchment, tempered with yolk of egg. 


HOW YOU MAKE A GREEN WITH WHITE LEAD AND 
TERRE-VERTE; OR LIME WHITE. 
CHAPTER LVII 


A sage color which is made by mixing white lead and terre-verte is 


specie di Ramno detto Spincervino . . . (RAamnus infectorius, L.) che è pianta delle 
cui coccole non mature [compare “Paduan Manuscript,” $ 29, Merrifield, op. cit., II, 
663] si fa il Giallo santo, e colle mature [compare “Bolognese Manuscript,” § 89, 
ibid., p. 421] il Verde di vescica.” (See also Vocabolario . . . della Crusca, s.v. 
“cervino,” $ II.) 

The question must be left open for the present, but there is a fair possibility that the 
prugnolo which bore Cennino’s prugnole salvatiche was a Rhamnus, and that its fruits 
were “plums” only in a popular, unscientific sense. Rhamnus infectorius is not the only 
possibility: R. alaternus and R. catharticus might easily have been available, or even, 
perhaps, the superior oriental varieties, R. saxatilis, R. amygdalinus, and R. oleoides. 
These are the kinds which until fairly recent years found considerable use under the 
name of “Persian berries” as yellow dyestuffs. “Yellow berries” was the name applied 
generally to the whole group, and it is tempting to translate Cennino’s prungnole 
salvatiche in that way. 

1 Something seems to have been omitted here: probably a direction to mix the verdi- 
gris with saffron. See Chapter XLVIIII, p. 30, above. 


34 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


green. It is good on panel, tempered with yolk of egg, or on the wall, 
in fresco, with the terre-verte mixed with lime white, made from 
white, prepared lime. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF LIME WHITE. 
CHAPTER LVIII 

A natural color, but still artificially prepared, is white, and it is 
made as follows: take good white air-slaked lime; put it, in the form 
of powder, into a pail for the space of eight days, adding clear water 
every day, and stirring up the lime and water thoroughly, so as to 
get all the fatness out of it. Then make it up into little cakes; put them 
up on the roofs in the sun; and the older these cakes are, the better the 
white will be. If you want to make it quickly and well, when the cakes 
are dry, work them up with water on your stone; and then make it 
into little cakes and dry them again; and do this twice, and you will 
see how perfect the white will be. This white is worked up with water, 
and it wants to be ground thoroughly. And it is good for working in 
fresco, that is, on a wall without any tempera; and without this you 
cannot accomplish anything in the way of flesh color and other mix- 
tures of the other colors which you make for a wall, that is, for fresco; 
and it never wants any tempera whatever. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF WHITE LEAD. 
CHAPTER LVIIII 

A color made alchemically from lead is white, and it is called white 
lead. This white lead is very brilliant; and it comes in little cakes like 
goblets or drinking glasses. And if you wish to recognize the choicest 
sort, always take some of that on the top of the lump, which is shaped 
like a cup. The more you grind this color, the more perfect it will be. 
And it is good on panel. It is even used on walls, but avoid it as much 
as you can, for in the course of time it turns black. It is ground with 
clear water; it is compatible with any tempera, and it serves you as 
your whole standard for lightening all colors on panel, just as lime 
white does on the wall. 


AZURITE BLUE 35 


ON THE CHARACTER OF AZURITE. 
CHAPTER LX 


Natural blue is a natural color which exists in and around the vein 
of silver. It occurs extensively in Germany, and also in that . . .* of 
Siena. It is quite true . . ., or plastic, it wants to be brought to per- 
fection. When you have to lay it in, you must work up some of this 


1 Jt is hard to estimate the extent or character of these lacunae, and any reconstruc- 
tion of this passage must be too much a matter of conjecture for inclusion here. 

A rule for preparing the pigment from mineral azurite may be found in the 
“Bolognese Manuscript,” § 17, Merrifield, op. cit., Il, 365-369. But for practical pur- 
poses I may mention here that it is necessary only to crush and grind a piece of the 
stone, and to wash the resulting powder by decantation. By saving the washings and 
allowing them to settle separately, numerous grades of pigment, varying in fineness and 
color, will readily be secured. (See p. 93, below, for the use of a set of these graded 
blues.) This process is described by Ambrogio di Ser Pietro da Siena in his Ricepte 
daffare piu colori, appended to a Confessional, Siena, MS. I, 11, 19 (dated 1462), fol. 
101. A translation of this passage follows: 

“When you want to refine azurite (/’agurro de la Magna), take three ounces of 
honey, as light as you can get, and cut it with a little hot lye, not too strong. And then 
put in a pound of blue, and mix it up. Get it tempered so that you can grind it. Then 
take a little of this blue; put it on the porphyry, and grind it well. And put all the 
ground part into a glazed porringer by itself, and put into it some lye as hot as your 
hand can bear. And get the blue well spread through it, and mix it and stir it up 
thoroughly with your hand. Then let it settle until all the blue goes to the bottom. 
Then draw off all the water; and if you find that the water is charged with blue, put it 
into another porringer, and let it settle thoroughly. And then take some hot water and 
put it on to the blue, mixing it up with your hand as described above so as to get all the 
honey out of it. And then divide it up in this way: 

“Take some warm water and put some on to the blue, and mix it up with your 
hand, as stated. Then let it settle for a while, and promptly put this water so tinted 
into another porringer; and keep all the substance of the coarse blue which stayed in 
the bottom separate, because that is the first grade, that is, the coarsest. And do the 
same with the second porringer which has settled for a while. Put that tinted water 
into another porringer. And this grade will be the best. And treat the second, third and 
fourth in this way. 

“When you have divided the blue by this means, take it out of the porringers, and 
put it to dry on a clean plate, or a little panel, well cleaned. And know that the second 
will be sky blue, which is good for pen-flourishing with the addition of a clothlet. The 
fourth is not good for much, but it is fit for making a green color with arzica when 
you are working with the brush or pen.” 

I have translated the isolated word pastello here as “plastic,” as in Chapter LXII, 
passim; but it is quite possible that it should be read “‘woad”’ (French, pastel), the herb 
Isatis tinctoria, much used in imitation of indigo. My chief reason for preferring the 
translation “plastic” lies in the following passage from the Liber Dedali Philosophi, 
Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, MS. L.III.13, 19, foll. 195%, 1967, quoted from ed. 
J. Wood Brown, in An Enquiry into the Life and Legend of Michael Scot (Edinburgh, 
1897), Appendix III, §14, pp. 245, 246: 

“. . + Invenitur quedam vena terre iuxta venam argenti. Illa terra optime teritur 


36 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


blue with water, very moderately and lightly, because it is very scorn- 
ful of the stone.’ If you want it for working on draperies, or for mak- 
ing greens with it as I have told you above, it ought to be worked up 
more. This is good on the wall in secco, and on panel. It is compatible 
with a tempera of egg yolk, and of size, and of whatever you wish. 


TO MAKE AN IMITATION OF AZURITE WITH 
OTHER COLORS. 
CHAPTER LXI 

A blue which is a sort of sky blue resembling azurite is made in 
this way: take some Bagdad indigo, and work it up very thoroughly 
with water; and mix a little white lead with it, on panel; and on the 
wall, a little lime white. It will look like azurite. It should be tempered 
with size. 


ON THE CHARACTER OF ULTRAMARINE BLUE, AND 
HOW TO MAKE IT. 
CHAPTER LXII 


Ultramarine blue is a color illustrious, beautiful, and most perfect, 
beyond all other colors; one could not say anything about it, or do 
anything with it, that its quality would not still surpass. And, because 
of its excellence, I want to discuss it at length, and to show you in de- 
tail how it is made. And pay close attention to this, for you will gain 
great honor and service from it. And let some of that color, combined 
with gold, which adorns all the works of our profession, whether on 
wall or on panel, shine forth in every object. 


et distemperatur cum aqua calida et ponitur super linteum positum super aliquo vase, 
et colatur subtiliter. Et quod grassum et feculentum cadit in vase, proice. Quando autem 
fuerit purum vel iuxta illud, exsiccabitur et recondetur. Si autem non fuerit bene pu- 
rum, terantur adhuc bene, et ponantur in aqua calida, et accipiatur pix, cera et mas- 
ticis. Et dissolvatur et ducatur ita cum manu per vas ubi est azurum. Et depurabit eum 
a superfluitatibus terreis. Et si vena fuerit bona, azurium erit bonum. Si male, azurium 
erit malum.” 

2 See the similar caution, p. 31, above, against grinding malachite too much. As 
these pigments depend for their color on light transmitted through them, it follows that 
excessive grinding, by increasing the reflecting surface and resultant scattering of light, 
will reduce their effectiveness as colors in any medium of low refractive index. 

1 That is, of course, the mixture with white lead, for use on panel. 


MAKING ULTRAMARINE 37 


To begin with, get some lapis lazuli. And if you want to recognize 
the good stone, choose that which you see is richest in blue color, be- 
cause it is all mixed like ashes. That which contains least of this ash 
color is the best. But see that it is not the azurite stone, which looks 
very lovely to the eye, and resembles an enamel. Pound it in a bronze 
mortar, covered up, so that it may not go off in dust; then put it on 
your porphyry slab, and work it up without water. Then take a cov- 
ered sieve such as the druggists use for sifting drugs; and sift it, and 
pound it over again as you find necessary. And bear in mind that the 
more finely you work it up, the finer the blue will come out, but not 
so beautifully violet* in color. It is true that the fine kind is more 
useful to illuminators, and for making draperies with lights on them.’ 
When you have this powder all ready, get six ounces of pine rosin 
from the druggists, three ounces of gum mastic, and three ounces 
of new wax, for each pound of lapis lazuli; put all these things into a 
new pipkin, and melt them up together. Then take a white linen cloth, 
and strain these things into a glazed washbasin. Then take a pound 
of this lapis lazuli powder, and mix it all up thoroughly, and make a 
plastic of it, all incorporated together. And have some linseed oil, and 
always keep your hands well greased with this oil, so as to be able to 
handle the plastic. You must keep this plastic for at least three days 
and three nights, working it over a little every day; and bear in mind 
that you may keep it in the plastic for two weeks or a month, or as 
long as you like. When you want to extract the blue from it, adopt this 
method. Make two sticks out of a stout rod, neither too thick nor 
too thin; and let them each be a foot long; and have them well 


1Non si bello violante. The translation violante as “‘violet’—or, better, “inclining 
toward violet’”—in this connection is justified by the context. Further evidence that a 
violet cast was held in general esteem may be seen in the direction given by “Bolognese 
Manuscript,” $ 19, in Merrifield, op. ciz., II, 371: “Accipe lapis lazuli . . . et sit colora- 
tus colore violatii”’; and in many rules similar to Cennino’s, on p. —, below, for mixing 
a crimson color with the blue. (Examples of these may be seen in the Liber diversarum 
artium, Montpellier, Ecole de Médecine, MS 277, in Catalogue général des manuscrits 
des bibliothèques publiques des départements, \ [Paris, 1849], 746, and in the “Bolo- 
gnese Manuscript,” § 70, Merrifield, op. cit., II, 411-413.) 

2 See below, p. 93, and Chapter LXXII, pp. 51, 52. These draperies are biancheggiati, 
“modeled up,” in contrast to the type of blue drapery described in Chapter LXXXIII, 
PP- 54, 55; below, in which the only modeling is darker than the ground of blue. 


38 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


rounded at the top and bottom, and nicely smoothed. And then have 
your plastic in the glazed washbasin where you have been keeping it; 
and put into it about a porringerful of lye, fairly warm; and with these 
two sticks, one in each hand, turn over and squeeze and knead this 
plastic, this way and that, just as you work over bread dough with 
your hand, in just the same way. When you have done this until you 
see that the lye is saturated with blue, draw it off into a glazed por- 
ringer. Then take as much lye again, and put it on to the plastic, and 
work it over with these sticks as before. When the lye has turned 
quite blue, put it into another glazed porringer, and put as much lye 
again on to the plastic, and press it out again in the usual way. And 
when the lye is quite blue, put it into another glazed porringer. And 
go on doing this for several days in the same way, until the plastic 
will no longer color the lye; and then throw it away, for it is no 
longer any good. Then arrange all these porringers in front of you on 
a table, in series: that is, the yields, first, second, third, fourth, arranged 
in succession; and with your hand stir up in each one the lye with the 
blue which, on account of the heaviness of this blue, will have gone 
to the bottom; and then you will learn the yields of the blue. Weigh 
the question of how many grades of blue you want: whether three or 
four, or six, or however many you want; bearing in mind that the first 
yields are the best, just as the first porringer is better than the second. 
And so, if you have eighteen porringers of the yields, and you wish to 
make three grades of blue, you take six of the porringers and mix 
them together, and reduce it to one porringer; and that will be one 
grade. And in the same way with the others’ But bear in mind that if 
you have good lapis lazuli, the blue from the first two yields will be 
worth eight ducats an ounce. The last two yields are worse than ashes: 
therefore be prudent in your observation, so as not to spoil the fine 
blues for the poor ones. And every day drain off the lye from the 
porringers, until the blues are dry. When they are perfectly dry, do 
them up in leather, or in bladders, or in purses, according to the di- 
visions which you have. And know that if that lapis lazuli stone was 
not so very good, or if you worked the stone up so much that the blue 
did not come out violet, I will teach you how to give it a little color.* 


3 See n. 1, p. 37, above. 


COLORING ULTRAMARINE 39 


Take a bit of pounded kermes* and a little brazil;> cook them to- 
gether; but either grate the brazil or scrape it with glass; and then 
cook them together with lye and a little rock alum; and when they 
boil you will see that it is a perfect crimson® color. Before you take 
the blue out of the porringer, but after it is quite dry of the lye, put 
a little of this kermes and brazil on it; and stir it all up well with 
your finger; and let it stand until it dries, without sun, fire, or wind. 
When you find that it is dry, put it in leather, or in a purse, and leave 
it alone, for it is good and perfect. And keep it to yourself, for it is an 
unusual ability to know how to make it properly. And know that 
making it is an occupation for pretty girls rather than for men; for 
they are always at home, and reliable, and they have more dainty 
hands. Just beware of old women. When you get around to wanting 
to use some of this blue, take as much of it as you need. And if you 
have draperies with lights on them‘ to execute, it ought to be worked 
up a little on the regular stone. And if you want it just for laying in, 
it wants to be worked over on the stone very, very lightly, always 
using perfectly clear water, and keeping the stone well washed and 
clean. And if the blue should get soiled in any way, take a little lye, 
or clear water; and put it into the dish, and stir it up well; and you 
will do this two or three times, and the blue will be purified entirely. 
I am not discussing its temperas for you, because I shall be showing 
you about all the temperas for all the colors later on, for panel, wall, 
iron, parchment, stone, and glass. 


4 Grana. See NED, s.v. “grain,” III, 10, a; also zbid., s.v. “kermes.” 

5 Verzino appears in medieval Latin manuscripts in various forms, among others: 
versinum, berxinum, berxilium, brexilium, brasilicum. | translate as NED, “brazil,” I, 
1, a; though the commonest equivalent in trade is probably “Pernambuco” or “Fernam- 
buco.” Botanical distinctions among the Caesalpiniae which yield the sort of wood 
known to Cennino as verzino are not very carefully regarded nowadays, and were 
probably still less so in Cennino’s time. The matter has no great significance, however, 
for the coloring principle, Brazzlin, is common to them all. Any of the group (classifica- 
tion attempted by F. Ullmann, Enzyclopddte der technischen Chemie, V [1930], 143- 
144) will pass as verzino; possibly Caesalpinia echinata, or C. cristata, is, all told, most 
likely to be the one Cennino knew. 

6 Vermiglio. Not “vermilion,” but crimson, the color of kermes, the “Vermiculus, 
color rubeus . . . qui fit ex frondibus silvestribus . . . et Grece ipsum dicunt coctum,” 
of J. LeBègue’s “Tabula de vocabulis sinonimis et equivocis colorum, etc.” (Merrifield, 
op. cit., I, 38). 

7 See n. 2, p. 37, above. 


40 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING HOW TO MAKE 
BRUSHES. 
CHAPTER LXIII 

Now that I have spoken in detail about all the colors which are used 
with the brush, and about how they are worked up, and these colors 
ought always to be kept standing in a little chest, well covered up, 
always soaking and wet, I now want to show you how to use them, 
with tempera and without tempera. But you still need to know how 
to work with them: and this you cannot do without brushes. So let us 
drop everything, and first have you learn how to make these brushes; 
and you use this method for them. 


HOW TO MAKE MINEVER BRUSHES. 
CHAPTER LXIIII 

In our profession we have to use two kinds of brushes: minever 
brushes, and hog’s-bristle brushes. The minever ones are made as fol- 
lows. Take minever tails, for no others are suitable; and these tails 
should be cooked, and not raw: the furriers will tell you that. Take one 
of these tails: first pull the tip out of it, for those are the long hairs; 
and put the tips of several tails together, for out of six or eight tips you 
will get a soft brush good for gilding on panel, that is, wetting down 
with it, as I will show you later on. Then go back to the tail, and take 
it in your hand; and take the straightest and firmest hairs out of the 
middle of the tail; and gradually make up little bunches of them; and 
wet them ina goblet of clear water, and press them and squeeze them 
out, bunch by bunch, with your fingers. Then trim them with a little 
pair of scissors; and when you have made up quite a number of 
bunches, put enough of them together to make up the size you want 
your brushes: some to fit in a vulture’s quill; some to fit in a goose’s 
quill; some to fit in a quill of a hen’s or dove’s feather. When you have 
made these types, putting them together very evenly, with each tip on 
a line with the other, take thread or waxed silk, and tie them up well 
with two bights or knots, each type by itself, according to the size you 
want the brushes. Then take your feather quill which corresponds to 
the amount of hairs tied up, and have the quill open, or cut off, at 
the end; and put these tied-up hairs into this tube or quill. Continue 


MAKING BRUSHES 4I 


to do this, so that some of the tips stick out, as long as you can press 
them in from outside, so that the brush will come out fairly stiff; for 
the stiffer and shorter it is the better and more delicate it will be. Then 
take a little stick of maple or chestnut, or other good wood; and 
make it smooth and neat, tapered like a spindle, and large enough to 
fit tightly in this tube; and have it nine inches long. And there you 
have an account of how a minever brush ought to be made. It is true 
that minever brushes of several types are needed: some for gilding; 
some for working with the flat of the brush, and these should be 
trimmed off a bit with the scissors, and stropped a little on the por- 
phyry slab to limber them up a little; one brush ought to be pointed, 
with a perfect tip for outlining; and another ought to be very, very 
tiny, for special uses and very small figures. 


HOW YOU SHOULD MAKE BRISTLE BRUSHES, AND 
IN WHAT MANNER. 
CHAPTER LXV 

The bristle brushes are made in this style. First get bristles of a 
white hog, for they are better than black ones; but see that they come 
from a domestic hog. And make up with them a large brush into 
which go a pound of these bristles; and tie it to a good-sized stick with 
a plowshare bight or knot. And this brush should be limbered up 
by whitewashing walls, and wetting down walls where you are going 
to plaster; and limber it up until these bristles become very supple. 
Then undo this brush, and make the divisions of it as you want, to 
make a brush of any variety. And make some into those which have 
the tips of all the bristles quite even—those are called “blunt” brushes; 
and some into pointed ones of every sort of size. Then make little 
sticks of the wood mentioned above, and tie up each little bundle with 
double waxed thread. Put the tip of the little stick into it, and proceed 
to bind down evenly half the length of this little bundle of bristles, 
and farther up along the stick; and deal with them all in the same 
way. 

1 Con groppo o ver nodo di bomare o ver versuro. For my translation of bomare and 


versuro see W. Meyer-Libke, Romanisches etymologisches Wérterbuch (Heidelberg, 
I9II), $$ 9447 and 9245. 


42 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW TO KEEP MINEVER TAILS FROM GETTING 
MOTH-EATEN. 
CHAPTER LXVI 
ENDS THE SECOND SECTION OF THIS BOOK; 
BEGINS THE THIRD. 

If you wish to keep the minever tails from getting moth-eaten or 
losing their hairs, dip them in wet earth or chalk. Smear them well 
with it, and tie them up, and let them stand. When you wish to use 
them, or make brushes of them, wash them well with clear water. 


THE METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR WORKING ON A WALL, 
THAT IS, IN FRESCO; AND ON PAINTING AND 
DOING FLESH FOR A YOUTHFUL FACE. 
CHAPTER LXVII 

In the name of the Most Holy Trinity I wish to start you on paint- 
ing. Begin, in the first place, with working on a wall; and for that I 
will teach you, step by step, the method which you should follow. 

When you want to work on a wall, which is the most agreeable 
and impressive kind of work, first of all get some lime* and some 
sand, each of them well sifted. And if the lime is very fat and fresh it 
calls for two parts sand, the third part lime. And wet them up well 
with water; and wet up enough to last you for two or three weeks. 
And let it stand for a day or so, until the heat goes out of it: for when 
it is so hot, the plaster which you put on cracks afterward. When you 
are ready to plaster, first sweep the wall well, and wet it down thor- 
oughly, for you cannot get it too wet. And take your lime mortar, 
well worked over, a trowelful at a time; and plaster once or twice, to 
begin with, to get the plaster flat on the wall. Then, when you want 
to work, remember first to make this plaster quite uneven and fairly 
rough. Then when the plaster is dry, take the charcoal, and draw and 


1 Calcina: in this case “lime”; but generally to be rendered “lime mortar,” or 
“mortar” for brevity. In this text it is, I think, impossible to render calcina always as 
either “lime” or “mortar.” Cennino’s plastering terms in general present considerable 
difficulty: I cannot find precise English equivalents for calcina, intonaco, smalto, and 
smaltare. “Plaster” and “mortar” do heavy duty in English. “Parget” (see NED) 
might be pressed into service, but it is scarcely familiar enough in the United States 
to admit its use here. 


COMPOSING A FRESCO 43 


compose according to the scene or figures which you have to do; and 
take all your measurements carefully, snapping lines first, getting the 
centers of the spaces.” Then snap some, and take the levels from 
them. And this line which you snap through the center to get the level 
must have a plumb bob at the foot. And then put one point of the big 
compasses on this line,’ and give the compasses a half turn on the 
under side. Then put the point of the compasses on the middle inter- 
section of one line with the other,* and swing the other semicircle on 
the upper side. And you will find that you make a little slanted cross 
on the right side, formed by the intersection of the lines. From the left 
side apply the line to be snapped, in such a way that it lies right over 
both the little crosses; and you will find that your line is horizontal 
by a level.° Then compose the scenes or figures with charcoal, as I 
have described. And always keep your areas in scale, and regular.° 
Then take a small, pointed bristle brush, and a little ocher without 
tempera, as thin as water; and proceed to copy and draw in your fig- 





2 Diagonal lines from corner to corner would, of course, intersect at the center of 
the whole area. If the composition were a large one, plumb lines might be dropped, 
other sets of diagonals snapped, and the “centers of the spaces’”’ determined ad lib. See 
n. 3, below. 

3 The construction which follows is perfectly general. The arcs may be swung from 
any center on any plumb line, according to where the horizontal is wanted: near the 
edges, for borders, or well up in the composition for a horizon. Short horizontals might 
be required across a subdivision of the total area, as for an architectural subject (see 
pp- 56, 57, below), and these would be constructed on the vertical axis of that subdivi- 
sion. It should be remembered that very large areas might be involved, and that the size 
of compasses is somewhat limited in practice. Even with a two-foot radius, which would 
be cumbersome, the points on the horizontal would be only about three and a half 
feet apart; so for a horizontal border thirty or forty feet long it would be wise to 
repeat the construction on lines snapped plumb through several sections. 

The space to be decorated may readily be “squared up” in this way, for enlarging a 
drawing; but Cennino :'oes not seem to have had this in mind. 

4 That is, the intersection of the arc with the vertical axis, as I understand it. 

5 Modern practice would pro.ably rely on a long spirit level to determine points on 
the horizontal to be snapped; but failing that instrument, Cennino’s geometry might 
be trusted safely. 

6 Literally, “And arrange your areas always even and equal.” Cennino was not 
always successful in theoretical expression, and I have taken some liberty in interpreting 
this precept. I do not wish, however, to minimize the difficulty of conveying the idea. 

In painting of the sort which Cennino describes, form is indicated conventionally in 
terms of modeling, light and dark, applied over clearly marked areas of local color. 
Each of these areas, besides being a unit in. .e whole design, possesses in itself a separate 
entity. The edges of these areas, the shapes and sizes of the areas themselves, are con- 


44 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


ures, shading as you did with washes when you were learning to 
draw. Then take a bunch of feathers, and sweep the drawing free of 
the charcoal. 

Then take a little sinoper without tempera, and with a fine pointed 
brush proceed to mark out noses, eyes, the hair, and all the accents 
and outlines of the figures; and see to it that these figures are properly 
adjusted in all their dimensions, for these’ give you a chance to know 
and allow for* the figures which you have to paint. Then start making 
your ornaments, or whatever you want to do, around the outside; and 
when you are ready, take some of the aforesaid lime mortar, well 
worked over with spade and trowel, successively, so that it seems like 
an ointment. Then consider in your own mind how much work you 
can do in a day; for whatever you plaster you ought to finish up. It is 
true that sometimes in winter, in damp weather, working on a stone 
wall, the plaster will occasionally keep fresh until the next day; but 
do not delay if you can help it, because working on the fresh plaster,” 
that is, that day’s, is the strongest tempera and the best and most de- 
lightful kind of work. So then, plaster a section with plaster, fairly 
thin, but not excessively, and quite even; first wetting down the old 
plaster. Then take your large bristle brush in your hand; dip it in 
clear water; beat it, and sprinkle over your plaster. And with a little 
block the size of the palm of your hand, proceed to rub with a circular 
motion over the surface of the well-moistened plaster, so that the little 
block may succeed in removing mortar wherever there is too much, 
and supplying it wherever there is not enough, and in evening up 
your plaster nicely. Then wet the plaster with that brush, if you need 
to; and rub over the plaster with the point of your trowel, ~-. y straight 
and clean. Then snap your lines in the same system and dimensions 
which you adopted previously on the plaster underneath. 

And let us suppose that in a day you have just one head to do, a 





spicuous; and they must be designed for perfection in themselves as well as in relation 
to the whole. The idea of “scale,” achieved through the repetition of a uniform meas- 
ure throughout the composition, has been brought out by Cennino in Chapter XXX, 
p- 17, above. 

7 That is, the preliminary layout on the rough plaster, over which the finish plaster 
and final painting are applied. 

8 Or “foresee.” 9 Il lavorare in frescho. 


PAINTING FLESH IN FRESCO 45 


youthful saint’s, like Our Most Holy Lady’s. When you have got the 
mortar of your plaster all smoothed down, take a little dish, a glazed 
one, for all your dishes should be glazed and tapered like a goblet or 
drinking glass, and they should have a good heavy base at the foot, to 
keep them steady so as not to spill the colors; take as much as a bean 
of well-ground ocher, the dark kind, for there are two kinds of ocher, 
light and dark: and if you have none of the dark, take some of the 
light. Put it into your little dish; take a little black, the size of a lentil; 
mix it with this ocher; take a little lime white, as much as a third of a 
bean; take as much light cinabrese!° as the tip of a penknife will hold; 
mix it up with the aforesaid colors all together in order,” and get this 
color dripping wet with clear water, without any tempera. Make a 
fine pointed brush out of flexible, thin bristles, to fit into the quill of 
a goose feather; and with this brush indicate the face which you wish 
to do, remembering to divide the face into three parts, that is, the fore- 
head, the nose, and the chin counting the mouth. And with your brush 
almost dry, gradually apply this color, known in Florence as verdac- 
cio, and in Siena, as bazzèo. When you have got the shape of the face 
drawn in, and if it seems not to have come out the way you want it, 
in its proportions or in any other respect, you can undo it and repair 
it by rubbing over the plaster with the big bristle brush dipped in 
water. 

Then take a little terre-verte in another dish, well thinned out; and 
with a bristle brush, half squeezed out between the thumb and fore- 
finger of your left hand, start shading under the chin, and mostly on 
the side where the face is to be darkest; and go on by shaping up the 
under side of the mouth; and the sides of the mouth; under the nose, 
and on the side under the eyebrows, especially in toward the nose; a 
little in the end of the eye toward the ear; and in this way you pick 
out the whole of the face and the hands, wherever flesh color is to 
come. 

Then take a pointed minever brush, and crisp up neatly all the 
outlines, nose, eyes, lips, and ears, with this verdaccio. 

There are some masters who, at this point, when the face is in this 


10 See Chapter XXXVIIII, p. 23, above, and zbid., n. 1. 
11 L, per ragioni, might be interpreted as “by values.” R has per ragione. 


46 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


stage, take a little lime white, thinned with water; and very systemati- 
cally pick out the prominences and reliefs of the countenance; then 
they put a little pink on the lips, and some “little apples” on the 
cheeks. Next they go over it with a little wash of thin flesh color; and 
it is all painted, except for touching in the reliefs afterward with a 
little white. It is a good system. 

Some” begin by laying in the face with flesh color; then they shape 
it up with a little verdaccio and flesh color, touching it in with some 
high lights: and it is finished. This is a method of those who know 
little about the profession. 

But you follow this method in everything which I shall teach you 
about painting: for Giotto, the great master, followed it. He had 
Taddeo Gaddi of Florence as his pupil for twenty-four years; and he 
was his godson. Taddeo had Agnolo, his son. Agnolo had me for 
twelve years: and so he started me on this method, by means of which 
Agnolo painted much more handsomely and freshly than Taddeo, his 
father, did. 
| First take a little dish; put a little lime white into it, a little bit will 
do, and a little light cinabrese, about equal parts. Temper them quite 
thin with clear water. With the aforesaid bristle brush, soft, and well 
squeezed with your fingers, go over the face, when you have got it in- 
dicated with terre-verte; and with this pink touch in the lips, and the 
“apples” of the cheeks. My master used to put these “apples” more 
toward the ear than toward the nose, because they help to give relief 
to the face. And soften these “apples” at the edges. Then take three 
little dishes, which you divide into three sections of flesh color; have 
the darkest half again as light as the pink color, and the other two, 
each one degree lighter. Now take the little dish of the lightest one; 
and with a very soft, rather blunt, bristle brush take some of this flesh 
color, squeezing the brush with your fingers; and shape up all the re- 
liefs of this face. Then take the little dish of the intermediate flesh 
color, and proceed to pick out all the half tones of the face, and of the 
hands and feet, and of the body when you are doing a nude. Then 
take the dish of the third flesh color, and start into the accents of 
the shadows, always contriving that, in the accents, the terre-verte 


12 I, 43, l. 12: read with R, A/cuni campeggiano. 


FEATURES AND HAIR 47 


may not fail to tell. And go on blending one flesh color into another 
in this way many times, until it is well laid in, as nature promises. 
And take great care, if you want your work to come out very fresh: 
contrive not to let your brush leave its course with any given flesh 
color, except to blend one delicately with another, with skilful han- 
dling. But if you attend to working and getting your hand in prac- 
tice, it will be clearer to you than seeing it in writing. When you have 
applied your flesh colors, make another much lighter one, almost 
white; and go over the eyebrows with it, over the relief of the nose, 
over the top of the chin and of the eyelid. Then take a sharp minever 
brush; and do the whites of the eyes with pure white, and the tip of 
the nose, and a tiny bit on the side of the mouth; and touch in all such 
slight reliefs. Then take a little black in another little dish, and with 
the same brush mark out the outline of the eyes over the pupils of 
the eyes; and do the nostrils in the nose, and the openings in the ears. 
Then take a little dark sinoper in a little dish; mark out under the 
eyes, and around the nose, the eyebrows, the mouth; and do a little 
shading under the upper lip, for that wants to come out a little bit 
darker than the under lip. Before you mark out the outlines in this 
way, take this brush; touch up the hair with verdaccio; then with 
this brush shape up this hair with white. Then take a wash of light 
ocher; and with a blunt-bristle brush work back over this hair as if 
you were doing flesh. Then with the same brush shape up the accents 
with some dark ocher. Then with a sharp little minever brush and 
light ocher and lime white shape up the reliefs of the hair. Then, by 
marking out with sinoper, shape up the outlines and the accents of 
the hair as you did the face as a whole. And let this suffice you for a 
youthful face. 


THE METHOD FOR PAINTING AN AGED FACE 
IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXVIII 
When you want to do the head of an old man, you should follow 
the same system as for the youthful one; except that your verdaccio 
wants to be a little darker, and the flesh colors, too; adopting the sys- 
tem and practice which you did for the youthful one; and the hands 


48 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


and feet and the body in the same way. Now, assuming that your old 
man’s hair and beard are hoary, when you have got it shaped up 
with verdaccio and white with your sharp minever brush, take some 
lime white mixed with a small amount of black in a little dish, liquid; 
and with a blunt and soft bristle brush, well squeezed out, lay in the 
beards and hairs; and then make some of this mixture a little bit 
darker, and shape up the darks. Then take a small, sharp, minever 
brush, and stripe delicately over the reliefs of these hairs and beards. 
And you may do minever <fur> with this same color. 


THE METHOD FOR PAINTING VARIOUS KINDS OF 
BEARDS AND HAIR IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXVIIII 

Whenever you wish to make different hair and beards, ruddy, 
or russet, or black, or any kind you please, do them with verdaccio 
still, or shaped up with white,’ and then lay them in in the regular 
way as described above. Just consider what color you want them; and 
thus the experience of seeing some of them finished will teach you 
this. 


THE PROPORTIONS WHICH A PERFECTLY FORMED 
MAN’S BODY SHOULD POSSESS. 
CHAPTER LXX 
Take note that, before going any farther, I will give you the exact 
proportions of a man. Those of a woman I will disregard, for she does 
not have any set proportion. First, as I have said above, the face is 
divided into three parts, namely: the forehead, one; the nose, another; 
and from the nose to the chin, another. From the side of the nose 
through the whole length of the eye, one of these measures. From the 
end of the eye up to the ear, one of these measures. From one ear to 
the other, a face lengthwise, one face. From the chin under the jaw 
to the base of the throat, one of the three measures. The throat, one 
measure long. From the pit of the throat to the top of the shoulder, 





1 The reading of R may be preferred: “Just make them with verdaccio and shaped 
up with white, at first.” This corresponds more closely to the practice described in the 
previous chapters. 


PAINTING DRAPERY IN FRESCO 49 


one face; and so for the other shoulder. From the shoulder to the 
elbow, one face. From the elbow to the joint of the hand, one face and 
one of the three measures. The whole hand, lengthwise, one face. 
From the pit of the throat to that of the chest, or stomach, one face. 
From the stomach to the navel, one face. From the navel to the thigh 
joint, one face. From the thigh to the knee, two faces. From the knee 
to the heel of the leg, two faces. From the heel to the sole of the foot, 
one of the three measures. The foot, one face long. 

A man is as long as his arms crosswise. The arms, including the 
hands, reach to the middle of the thigh. The whole man is eight faces 
and two of the three measures in length. A man has one breast rib 
less than a woman, on the left side. A man has. . .* bones in all. The 
handsome man must be swarthy, and the woman fair, etc. I will not 
tell you about the irrational animals, because you will never discover 
any system of proportion in them. Copy them and draw as much as 
you can from nature, and you will achieve a good style in this respect. 


THE WAY TO PAINT A DRAPERY IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXXI 

Now let us get right back to our fresco-painting. And, on the wall,’ 
if you wish to paint a drapery, any color you please, you should first 
draw it carefully with your verdaccio; and do not have your drawing 
show too much, but moderately. Then, whether you want a white 
drapery or a red one, or yellow, or green, or whatever you want, get 
three little dishes. Take one of them, and put into it whatever color 
you choose, we will say red: take some cinabrese and a little lime 
white; and let this be one color, well diluted with water. Make one of 
the other two colors light, putting a great deal of lime white into it. 
Now take some out of the first dish, and some of this light, and make 
an intermediate color; and you will have three of them. Now take 
some of the first one, that is, the dark one; and with a rather large 
and fairly pointed bristle brush go over the folds of your figure in the 
darkest areas; and do not go past the middle of the thickness of your 
figure. Then take the intermediate color; lay it in from one dark strip 


1 A numeral is omitted here: the omission is marked in L. 
21, 47, 1. 8, read: “fresco. E, in muro, <s>e.” 


50 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


to the next one, and work them in together, and blend your folds 
into the accents of the darks. Then, just using these intermediate 
colors, shape up the dark parts where the relief of the figure is to come, 
but always following out the shape of the nude. Then take the third, 
lightest color, and just exactly as you have shaped up and laid in the 
course of the folds in the dark, so you do now in the relief, adjusting 
the folds ably, with good draftsmanship and judgment. When you 
have laid in two or three times with each color, never abandoning the 
sequence of the colors by yielding or invading the location of one color 
for another, except where they come into conjunction, blend them 
and work them well in together. Then in another dish take still an- 
other color, lighter than the lightest of these three; and shape up the 
tops of the folds, and put on lights. Then take some pure white in 
another dish, and shape up definitively all the areas of relief. Then go 
over the dark parts, and around some of the outlines, with straight 
cinabrese; and you will have your drapery, systematically carried out. 
But you will learn far better by seeing it done than by reading. When 
you have finished your figure or scene, let it dry until the mortar and 
the colors have dried out well all over. And if you still have any 
drapery to do in secco, you will follow this method. 


THE WAY TO PAINT ON A WALL IN SECCO; AND 
THE TEMPERAS FOR IT. 
CHAPTER LXXII 

You may use any of those colors which you used in fresco, in secco 
as well; but there are colors which cannot be used in fresco, such as 
orpiment, vermilion, azurite, red lead, white lead, verdigris, and lac. 
Those which can be used in fresco are giallorino, lime white, black, 
ocher, cinabrese, sinoper, terre-verte, hematite. The ones which are 
used in fresco call for lime white as an adjunct, to make them lighter; 
and the greens, when you want to keep them as greens, call for gial- 
lorino: when you want to leave them as sage greens, use white. Those 
colors which cannot be used in fresco require white lead and giallorino 
as adjuncts, to make them lighter, and sometimes orpiment: but orpi- 
ment very seldom. Now if you are to execute a blue with lights on it,* 


1 See n. 2, p. 37, above. 


SECCO-PAINTING SI 


follow that three-dish system which I taught you for the flesh color 
and the cinabrese; and the system will be the same for this, except that 
where you took lime white before, you now take white lead; and you 
temper everything. There are two good kinds of tempera for you, one 
better than the other. The first tempera: take the white and yolk of 
the egg; put in a few clippings of fig shoots; and beat it up well. Then 
put some of this tempera into the little dishes, a moderate amount, 
neither too much nor not enough, just about as a wine might be half 
diluted with water. And then use your colors, white or green or red, 
just as I showed you for fresco; and carry out your draperies the same 
way you did in fresco, handling it with restraint, allowing time for it 
to dry out. Know that if you put in too much tempera the color will 
soon crack and peel away from the wall. Be reasonable and judicious. 
I advise you first, before you begin to paint, if you want to make a 
drapery of lac or any other color, before you do anything else, take a 
well-washed sponge; and have a yolk and white of egg together, and 
put them into two porringerfuls of clear water, mixing it up thor- 
oughly; and go evenly over the whole work which you have to paint 
in secco and also to embellish with gold, with your sponge half 
squeezed out in this tempera; and then proceed to paint freely, as you 
please. The second tempera is simply yolk of egg; and know that this 
tempera is a universal one, for wall, for panels, or for iron; and you 
cannot use too much, but be reasonable, and choose a middle course. 
Before you go any farther with this tempera, I want you to carry out 
a drapery in secco. Just as I had you do with cinabrese in fresco, I now 
want you to do with ultramarine. Take three dishes as usual; put the 
two parts of blue and the third of white lead into the first one; and 
into the third dish, the two parts white lead and the third blue; and 
mix and temper them as I have told you. Then take the empty dish, 
that is, the second; take as much out of one dish as out of the other, 
and make up a mixture, stirring it thoroughly.” With a bristle brush, 
or a firm, blunt minever one, and the first color* that is, the darkest, go 
over the accents, shaping up the darkest folds. Then take the medium 
color, and lay in some of those dark folds, and shape up the light folds 
in the relief of the figure. Then take the third color, and lay it in, and 


21, 49, l. 26, read: “rimenata. Con.” 3 [bid., |. 27, read: “sodo, ecchol.” 


52 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


make the folds which come on top of the relief; and work one well 
into the other, blending and laying in, as I taught you for fresco. 
Then take the lightest color, and put some white lead into it, with 
some tempera; and shape up the tops of the folds in the relief. Then 
take a little straight white lead, and go over certain strong reliefs as 
the nude of the figure requires. Then shape up the limits of the dark- 
est folds and outlines with some straight ultramarine; and in this way 
stroke over the drapery the colors corresponding to each area, with- 
out mixing or contaminating one color with another, except deli- 
cately. And work with lac in the same way, and with every color 
which you use in secco, etc. 


HOW TO MAKE A VIOLET COLOR. 
CHAPTER LXXIII 

If you wish to make a pretty violet color, take fine lac and ultra- 
marine blue, in equal parts. Then, when it is tempered, take three 
dishes as before; and leave some of this violet color in its little dish, 
for touching up the darks. Then, with what you take out of it, make 
up three values of color for laying in the drapery, each stepped up 
lighter than the others, as described above. 


TO EXECUTE A VIOLET COLOR IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXXIIII 
If you want to make a violet for use in fresco, take indigo and 
hematite, and make a mixture like the previous one, without tem- 
pera; and make four values of it in all. Then execute your drapery. 


TO TRY TO IMITATE AN ULTRAMARINE BLUE 
FOR USE IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXXV 
If you want to make a drapery in fresco which will look like ultra- 
marine blue, take indigo and lime white, and step your colors up to- 
gether; and then, in secco, touch it in with ultramarine blue in the 
accents. 


SHOT DRAPERIES 53 


TO PAINT A PURPLE OR TURNSOLE DRAPERY 
IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXXVI 
If you want to do a purple drapery in fresco which will look like 
lac, take hematite and lime white, and step up your colors as de- 
scribed. And blend them and work them well together. Then, in 
secco, touch it in with pure lac, tempered, in the accents. 


TO PAINT A SHOT! GREEN DRAPERY IN FRESCO. 
CHAPTER LXXVII 

If you want to make a shot drapery for an angel in fresco, lay in the 
drapery in two values of flesh color, one darker and one lighter, blend- 
ing them well at the middle of the figure. Then, on the dark side, 
shade the darks with ultramarine blue; and shade with terre-verte on 
the lighter flesh color, touching it up afterward in secco. And know 
that everything which you execute in fresco needs to be brought to 
completion, and touched up, in secco with tempera. Make the lights 
on this drapery in fresco just as I have told you for the rest. 


TO PAINT IN FRESCO A DRAPERY SHOT WITH 
ASH GRAY. 
CHAPTER LXXVIII 

If you want to make a shot drapery in fresco, take lime white and 
black, and make a minever color which is known as ash gray. Lay it 
in; put the lights on it, using giallorino for some and lime white for 
others, as you please. Apply the darks with black or with violet or 
with dark green. 


TO PAINT ONE IN SECCO SHOT WITH LAC. 
CHAPTER LXXVIIII 
If you want to make a shot one in secco, lay it in with lac; put on 
the lights with flesh color, or with giallorino; shade the darks either 
with straight lac or with violet, with tempera. 


1 NED, s.v. “shot,” 5, c; Cennino’s word is cangiante. See DuCange, Glossarium, s.v. 
“cangium.” J. Karabacek, “Neue Quellen zur Papiergeschichte,” in Mitteilungen aus 


54 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


TO PAINT ONE IN FRESCO OR IN SECCO SHOT 
WITH OCHER. 
CHAPTER LXXX 
If you wish to make a shot one either in fresco or in secco, lay it in 
with ocher; put on the lights with white; and shade it with green 
in the light; and in the dark, with black and sinoper, or else with 
hematite. 


TO PAINT A GREENISH-GRAY COSTUME IN FRESCO 
OR IN SECCO. 
CHAPTER LXXXI 
If you wish to make a greenish-gray drapery, take black and ocher, 
that is, the two parts ocher and the third black; and step up the colors 
as I have taught you before, both in fresco and in secco. 


TO PAINT A COSTUME, IN FRESCO AND IN SECCO, 
OF A GREENISH-GRAY COLOR LIKE THE 
COLOR OF WOOD. 
CHAPTER LXXXII 
If you want to make a wood color, take ocher, black, and sinoper; 
but the two parts ocher, and black and red to the amount of half the 
ocher. Step up your colors with this in fresco, in secco, and in tempera. 


TO MAKE A DRAPERY, OR A MANTLE FOR OUR LADY, 
WITH AZURITE OR ULTRAMARINE BLUE. 
CHAPTER LXXXIII 

If you wish to make a mantle for Our Lady with azurite, or any 
other drapery which you want to make solid blue, begin by laying in 
the mantle or drapery in fresco with sinoper and black, the two parts 
sinoper,’ and the third black. But first scratch in the plan of the folds 
with some little pointed iron, or with a needle. Then, in secco, take 
some azurite, well washed either with lye or with clear water, and 
worked over a little bit on the grinding slab. Then, if the blue is good 


der Sammlung der Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer, lV (1888), 119, offers ingenious argu- 
ments for deriving this word from the name of the “durch ihre satinirten Stoffe 
beruhmten chinesischen Stadt Chanfd (arab.).” 

17, 53, 1. 6, read: “di nero, [mal]le due.” 


PAINTING MOUNTAINS 55 


and deep in color, put into it a little size, tempered neither too strong 
nor too weak (and I will tell you about that later on). Likewise put 
an egg yolk into the blue; and if the blue is pale, the yolk should come 
from one of these country eggs, for they are quite red. Mix it up well. 
Apply three or four coats to the drapery, with a soft bristle brush. 
When you have got it well laid in, and after it is dry, take a little 
indigo and black, and proceed to shade the folds of the mantle as 
much as you can, going back into the shadows time and again, with 
just the tip of the brush. If you want to get a little light on the tops of 
the knees or other reliefs, scratch the pure blue with the point of the 
brush handle.? 

If you want to put ultramarine blue on a ground or on a drapery, 
temper it as described for the azurite, and apply two or three coats 
of it over the latter. If you wish to shade the folds, take a little fine lac, 
and a little black, tempered with yolk of egg; and shade it as deli- 
cately and as neatly as you can, first with a little wash, and then with 
the point <of the brush>; and make as few folds as possible, because 
ultramarine wants little association with any other mixture. 


TO MAKE A BLACK DRAPERY FOR A MONK’S OR FRIAR’S 
ROBE, IN FRESCO AND IN SECCO. 
CHAPTER LXXXIIII 
If you want to make a black drapery, for a friar’s or monk’s robe, 
take pure black, stepping it up in several values, as I have already told 
you above, for fresco; for secco, mixed with a tempera. 


ON THE WAY TO PAINT A MOUNTAIN, IN 
FRESCO OR IN SECCO. 
CHAPTER LXXXV 


If you want to do mountains in fresco or in secco, make a verdaccio 
color, one part of black, the two parts of ocher. Step up the colors, for 
fresco, with lime white and without tempera; and for secco, with 


2 This roughing of the surface gives a lighter value without the use of white. It is, 
as Cennino suggests, of limited application, even in secco; in panel-painting it is not 
to be practiced, for varnish nullifies the optical effect upon which the lighter value 
depends. The point of this ingenious trick is to keep the blue at its maximum intensity 
in the lights, in contrast to the technique described in Chapter LXXII, pp. 50-52, 


56 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


white lead and with tempera. And apply to them the same system of 
shadow and relief that you apply to a figure. And the farther away 
you have to make the mountains look, the darker you make your 
colors; and the nearer you are making them seem, the lighter you 
make the colors. 


THE WAY TO PAINT TREES AND PLANTS AND 
FOLIAGE, IN FRESCO AND IN SECCO. 
CHAPTER LXXXVI 

If you wish to embellish these mountains with groves of trees or 
with plants, first lay in the trunk of the tree with pure black, tem- 
pered, for they can hardly be done in fresco; and then make a range 
of leaves with dark green, but using malachite, because terre-verte is 
not good; and see to it that you make them quite close. Then make 
up a green with giallorino, so that it isa little lighter, and do a smaller 
number of leaves, starting to go back to shape up some of the ridges. 
Then touch in the high lights on the ridges with straight giallorino, 
and you will see the reliefs of the trees and of the foliage. But before 
this, when you have got the trees laid in, do the base and some of the 
branches of the trees with black; and scatter the leaves upon them, 
and then the fruits; and scatter occasional flowers and little birds over 


the foliage. 


HOW BUILDINGS ARE TO BE PAINTED, IN 
FRESCO AND IN SECCO. 
CHAPTER LXXXVII 
If you want to do buildings, get them into your drawing in the 
scale you wish; and snap the lines." Then lay them in with verdaccio, 
and with terre-verte, quite thin in fresco or in secco. And you may 
do some with violet, some with ash gray, some with green, some 





above. There, the maximum intensity is found only in the deep shadows; the lights are 
neutralized progressively, by the addition of white. Here, all is to be pure blue except 
such portions as are neutralized, in the direction of black, by the thin surface modeling 
of the shadows. The only light modeling regarded as consistent with the display of this 
fair field of valuable color is achieved by the optical trick described. A clear under- 
standing of this distinction is necessary to grasp the significance of the vestiri biancheg- 
giati mentioned in Chapter LXXII. See n. 2, p. 37, above. 
1 See Chapter LXVII, p. 43, above. 


OIL-PAINTING 57 


with greenish gray, and likewise with any color you wish. Then 
make a long ruler, straight and fine; and have it chamfered on one 
edge, so that it will not touch the wall, so that if you rub on it, or run 
along it with the brush and color, it will not smudge things for you; 
and you will execute those little moldings with great pleasure and 
delight; and in the same way bases, columns, capitals, facades, fleu- 
rons, canopies, and the whole range of the mason’s craft, for it is a 
fine branch of our profession, and should be executed with great de- 
light. And bear in mind that they must follow the same system of 
lights and darks that you have in the figures. And put in the build- 
ings by this uniform system: that the moldings which you make at 
the top of the building should slant downward from the edge next to 
the roof; the molding in the middle of the building, halfway up the 
face, must be quite level and even; the molding at the base of the 
building underneath must slant upward, in the opposite sense to the 
upper molding, which slants downward. 


THE WAY TO COPY A MOUNTAIN FROM NATURE. 
CHAPTER LXXXVIII 
ENDS THE THIRD SECTION OF THIS BOOK. 

If you want to acquire a good style for mountains, and to have 
them look natural, get some large stones, rugged, and not cleaned up; 
and copy them from nature, applying the lights and the dark as your 
system requires. 


HOW TO PAINT IN OIL ON A WALL, ON PANEL, ON 
IRON, AND WHERE YOU PLEASE. 
CHAPTER LXXXVIIII 
Before I go any farther, I want to teach you to work with oil on 
wall or panel, as the Germans are much given to do; and likewise on 
iron and on stone. But we will begin by discussing the wall. 


HOW YOU SHOULD START FOR WORKING IN 
OIL ON A WALL. 
CHAPTER LXXXX 
Plaster the wall the way you do for fresco; except that where you 
do the plastering little by little, here you are to plaster the whole job 


58 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


all at once. Then draw your scene with charcoal, and fix it either with 
ink or with tempered verdaccio. Then take a little well-diluted size. 
A still better tempera is the whole egg beaten up in a porringer with 
fig-tree latex; and pour a goblet of clear water over this egg. Then, 
either with a sponge or with the soft, rather blunt brush, apply one 
coat of it all over the ground which you have to execute; and let it dry 
for at least one day. 


HOW YOU ARE TO MAKE OIL, GOOD FOR A TEMPERA, 
AND ALSO FOR MORDANTS, BY BOILING 
WITH FIRE. 
CHAPTER LXXXXI 


You ought to know how to make this oil, since it is one of the use- 
ful things which you need to understand; for it is used for mordants, 
and for many purposes. And therefore take one pound, or two, or 
three, or four, of linseed oil, and put it into a new casserole; and if it 
is a glazed one, so much the better. Make a little stove; and make a 
round opening so that this casserole will fit into it exactly, so that the 
flame cannot come up past it; because the flame would be glad to get 
to it, and you would jeopardize the oil, and also risk burning down 
the house. When you have made your stove, start up a moderate fire: 
for the more gently you make it boil, the better and more perfect it 
will be. And make it boil down to a half, and it will do. But to make 
mordants, when it is reduced to a half,’ put into it one ounce of liquid 


1 Bollire per mezo: Dr. A. P. Laurie, The Painter’s Methods and Materials (Philadel- 
phia: Lippincott, 1926), pp. 31, 32, and 41, in discussing the related passage in Chap- 
ter LXXXXII, se v’el tieni tanto che torni per mezo, brands the translation “reduced to 
one-half” as “nonsense.” Dr. Laurie suggests the alternative translation of mezzo as 
“bleached.” A simpler explanation will serve: the total volume of oil does not diminish, 
it is true, but upon exposure to sun and air a pellicle of “dried” oil forms, and as the 
drying process advances the volume of oil available for painting purposes is reduced. 
In this sense, a quantity of oil may be “reduced to a half” by exposure to the sun. Simi- 
larly, in boiling, waste takes place, and a quantity of oil may be “boiled down to a 
half.” If any doubt remained, the unequivocal order, “Fac bullire tam diu donec 
medietas olei sit consumpta,” from the Secreta magistri Johannis ortulani vera et pro- 
bata, should remove it. (See Ludwig Rockinger, “Zum baierischen Schriftwesen im 
Mittelalter,” Abhandlungen der historischen Classe der kéniglichen bayerischen Akade- 
mie der Wissenschaften, XII [1872], 1'€ Abteilung, p. 47. See also I, 65, 1. 12; and 
p. 66, 1. 10, bollire chettorni per terzo, and compare with this p. 67, l. 23.) 

2 Quando ettornato per mezo: see n. I, above. 


FAT OIL AND ITS USE 59 


varnish which is bright and clear for each pound of oil; and this sort of 
oil is good for mordants. 


HOW GOOD AND PERFECT OIL IS MADE BY 
COOKING IN THE SUN. 
CHAPTER LXXXXII 
When you have made this oil, some may be cooked in another way 
besides; and it is more perfect for painting, but for mordants it has to 
be cooked with fire. Take your linseed oil, and during the summer 
put it into a bronze or copper pan, or a basin, and keep it in the sun 
when August comes. If you keep it there until it is reduced to a half,” 
this will be most perfect for painting. And know that I have found it 
in Florence as good and choice as it could be. 


HOW YOU SHOULD WORK UP THE COLORS WITH OIL, 
AND EMPLOY THEM ON THE WALL. 
CHAPTER LXXXXIII 

Go back to working up or grinding, color by color, as you did for 
work in fresco; except that where you worked them up with water 
you now work them up with this oil. And when you have got them 
worked up, that is, some of every color, for all the colors will stand 
oil except lime white, get little lead or tin dishes into which to put 
these colors. And if you cannot find those, get glazed ones. And put 
in these ground-up colors; and put them into a little box to keep 
clean. Then when you wish to make a drapery in three values, as I 
have told you, mark them out and set them in their places with 
minever brushes, working one color well into another, keeping the 
colors quite stiff. Then wait a day or so, and go back, and see how they 
are covered, and lay them in again as necessary. And do the same for 
flesh-painting, and for doing any sort of work which you may care 
to carry out; and mountains, trees, and every other subject in the same 
way. Then have a plate of tin or lead which is one finger deep all 
around, like a lamp; and keep it half full of oil, and keep your brushes 
in it when idle, so that they will not dry up. 


1 See n. 1, p. 58. 


60 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD WORK IN OIL ON IRON, 
ON PANEL, ON STONE. 
CHAPTER LXXXXIIII 
And work on iron in the same way, and on stone; and on panel, 
always sizing first; and on glass likewise, or wherever you wish to 
work. 


THE WAY TO EMBELLISH WITH GOLD OR WITH 
TIN ON A WALL. 
CHAPTER LXXXXV 
Now, since I have taught you the method of working in secco, in 
fresco, and in oil, I wish to show you how you should embellish the 
wall with tin, golden and white,” and with fine gold. And know that 
above all you are to work with as little silver as you can, because it 
does not last; and it turns black, both on wall and on wood, but it 
fails sooner on a wall. Use beaten tin or tin foil instead of it hence- 
forth. Also beware of alloyed gold, for it soon turns black. 


HOW YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MAKE A PRACTICE OF 
WORKING WITH FINE GOLD AND WITH 
GOOD COLORS. 
CHAPTER LXXXXVI 

Most people make a practice of embellishing a wall with golden 
tin,’ because it is less costly. But I give you this urgent advice, to 
make an effort always to embellish with fine gold, and with good 
colors, especially in the figure of Our Lady. And if you wish to reply 
that a poor person cannot make the outlay, I answer that if you do 
your work well, and spend time on your jobs, and good colors, you 
will get such a reputation that a wealthy person will come to compen- 
sate you for the poor one; and your standing will be so good for 
using good colors that if a master is getting one ducat for a figure, 
you will be offered two; and you will end by gaining your ambition. 
As the old saying goes, good work, good pay. And even if you were 


1 See p. 113, below. 

2 So R: dorato e bianco. L has dorato in bianco, which might be interpreted as “white 
made golden.” See n. 1, pp. 61 ff., below. 

8 See n. 3, pp. 61 ff., below. 


EMBELLISHMENTS WITH TIN 61 


not adequately paid, God and Our Lady will reward you for it, body 


and soul. 


HOW YOU SHOULD CUT THE GOLDEN TIN, 
AND EMBELLISH. 
CHAPTER LXXXXVII 

When you are embellishing with tin, either white or golden," so 
that you have to cut it with a penknife, first get a good, smooth board 
of nut or pear or plum wood, not too thin, the size of a royal folio 
in each dimension. Then get some liquid varnish; smear this board 
well; put your piece of tin on it, spreading it out and smoothing it 
down nicely. Then proceed to cut it with a penknife, well sharpened 
and. . .” at the point. And with a ruler cut the little strips of what- 
ever width you wish to make the ornaments, whether just of tin, or 
wide enough for you to embellish them afterward with black or 
other colors. 


HOW TO MAKE GREEN TIN FOR EMBELLISHING. 
CHAPTER LXXXXVIII 

Again, to embellish these ornaments, take some verdigris ground 
with linseed oil; and spread some all over a sheet of white tin, so that 
it will be a fine green. Let it dry well in the sun; then spread it out 
on the board with varnish. Then cut it with a penknife; or first make 
little rosettes, or any pretty trifles, with dies; and smear the board with 
liquid varnish, and set those rosettes out on it: then fasten them to the 
wall. Furthermore, if you wish to make stars with fine gold, or to 
apply the diadems of the saints, or to embellish with the knife as I 
have told you, you should first lay the fine gold on the golden tin. 


HOW TO MAKE THE GOLDEN TIN, AND HOW TO LAY 
FINE GOLD WITH THIS VERMEIL.’ 
CHAPTER LXXXXVIII 


Golden tin is made as follows. Set up a nice, smooth board, six 








1 See n. 3, below. 

2 A word seems to be missing here: perhaps “thin.” In the apparatus, I, 59, for 
“3” read “24.” 

8 Doratura, that is, deauratura; see NED, s.v. “vermeil,” 4, a. The ancient and 
widespread tradition represented here must be made the subject of a separate study; but 


62 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


or eight feet long; and have it smeared with fat or tallow. Some of this 
white tin is laid out on it; then a liquid known as vermeil is put on 
the tin, in three or four places, a little in each place; and you pat over 
this tin with the palm of your hand, so as to get this vermeil as even 
in one part as in another. Let it dry well in the sun. When it is almost 
dry, so that it is just a little bit tacky, take your fine gold, and sys- 
tematically overlay and cover the tin with this fine gold. Then clean 
it up with some very clean cotton; separate the tin from the board. 
When you want to use it, work with liquid varnish; and make those 
stars with it, or any devices you wish, just as you do with the golden 
tin. 


some instances are cited below in support of my translation of dorato as “golden,” and 
also to indicate the general character of the material, doratura. 

Two rules in the Compositiones ad tingenda . . ., “De tinctio petalorum,” and “De 
inductio exorationis” (ed. Muratori, Anziquitates [Milan, 1739], II, 385, B-C, and 381, 
D; ed. also, with translation, in J. M. Burnam, A Classical Technology Edited from 
Codex Lucensis, 490 [Boston, 1920], pp. 67, 68, and 129; 58 and 120, 121), reappear 
with variants in the Mappae clavicula. (See ed. T. Phillipps, Archaeologia, XXXII 
[1847], 212, § cxvi; 227, § ccviii; 211, § cxv.) Theophilus’ Schedula, MSS L? and 
P (see my article, “The Schedula of Theophilus Presbyter,” Speculum, VII [1932], 
203), outlines the use of gold leaf laid over varnished tin for use on walls. (See ed. 
A. Ilg, in Quellenschriften, VII [ Vienna, 1874], 55.) The Schedula gives also (ed. cit., 
pp: 57-59) a rule of somewhat different character for coloring “tabulas stagneas tenua- 
tas ut tanquam deauratae videantur” to be used “loco auri quando aurum non habetur,” 
allied to Cap. XIII, “De deauratura petulae stagni,” in Heraclius, De coloribus et artibus 
Romanorum. (See Merrifield, op. cit., I, 221.) (In this chapter Heraclius describes as 
deauratura an amalgam of tin with mercury; and in Cap. XIV the term seems to be 
applied to an amalgam of gold with mercury; but neither of these is the doratura of 
Cennino.) 

Petrus de Sancto Audemaro, Liber de coloribus, devotes five sections to the sub- 
ject ($$ 205-209 in Merrifield, op. cit., I, 161-165): “De modo attenuandi [read 
tinguendi?] laminas stanni ut auratae videantur, ex carentia auri utendas in operibus” 
—the very argument discounted by Cennino in Chapter LXXXXVI; “De modo deau- 
randi folia seu laminas stanni attenuatas,”’ etc. The recipe “Ad ponendum aurum finum 
super stagno aurato” in J. LeBeégue’s Experimenta de coloribus, § 105 (Merrifield, op. 
cit., 1, 95), involves still a different type of procedure, but confirms the distinction be- 
tween “golden” and “gilded” tin. 

Cennino’s doratura was evidently a sort of transparent yellow oil-gold-size, which 
could be used as a lacquer on tin, to produce a golden effect; or, alternatively, as a 
mordant for gilding with leaf over tin foil, either plain or previously lacquered with 
doratura. Montpellier, Ecole de Médecine, MS 277, approximately contemporary with 
the Libro dell’Arte, contains (No. 17) a Liber diversarum artium (published in 
Catalogue général des manuscrits des bibliothéques publiques des départements, | | Paris, 
1849], 739-811), which preserves (II, 8; fol. 967, col. 1; ed. cit., p. 789) a rule, “De 
confectione dorature,” which probably represents the sort of compound which Cennino 
knew under this name: 

“Doratura is made in this way. Take hepatic aloes, one ounce; linseed oil, two 


MURAL EMBELLISHMENTS 63 


HOW TO FASHION OR CUT OUT THE STARS, AND 
PUT THEM ON THE WALL. 
CHAPTER C 


First you have to cut out all the stars with the ruler; and wherever 
you have to put them on, first put a little lump of wax on the blue, 
wherever the star comes; and shape the star on it, ray by ray, just as 
you cut it on the board. And know that much more work can be done 
with less fine gold than can be done by mordant gilding. 


HOW YOU CAN MAKE THE DIADEMS OF THE SAINTS 
ON THE WALL WITH THIS TIN GILDED 
WITH FINE GOLD. 
CHAPTER CI 


Likewise, if you want to make the diadems of the saints without 
mordants, after you have painted the figure in fresco, take a needle, 
and scratch around the outline of the head. Then after it is dry smear 
the diadem with varnish, put your tin on it, either golden or gilded 
with fine gold; put it over this varnish, pat it down well with the 
palm of your hand; and you will see the marks which you made with 
the needle. Take a well-sharpened knife point, and trim the gold up 
carefully; and put the surplus aside for your other jobs. 


HOW YOU SHOULD MODEL UP A DIADEM IN 
LIME MORTAR ON A WALL. 
CHAPTER CII 


Know that the diadem wants to be modeled up with a small trowel 
on the fresh plaster, as follows. When you have drawn the head of the 


pounds; a little saffron; and boil them all up in a pot until the aloes are well dis- 
solved; then strain them through a cloth into another dish, and vermeil (deaura) thinly 
with your hand two or three times with this doratura; and gold will be improved, and 
tin most of all, and silver. But that color is applied only once, thinly, over gold.” 

(For the composition and use of a similar preparation in the eighteenth century, see 
articles “Vermeil” and “Vermeillionner” in Sieur Watin, L’art du peintre, doreur, 
vermisseur . . . [2d ed., Paris, 1773], pp. 144, 159. It is recommended to “reléver 
l’éclat de l’or et lui donner un plus beau lustre,” as in the rule just quoted.) 

A similar rule in the same chapter of the Liber diversarum artium may be noted, 
though it is not specifically labeled doratura. Fol. 985%, col. 2 (ed. cit., p. 798), II, 5, 
states that “cum doratura pictorum potest vas stagneum deaurari.” 

Instances might be multiplied, but the above should suffice to demonstrate the jus- 
tice of translating doratura as “vermeil,” and stagno dorato as “golden tin.” 


64 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


figure, take the compasses, and swing the halo. ‘Then take a little very 
fat lime mortar, made into a sort of ointment or dough, and plaster 
this lime mortar rather thick around the outside of the circle, and 
thin in toward the head. Then when you have got the lime mortar 
quite smooth, take the compasses again, and with the penknife’ cut 
away the mortar along the path of the compasses; and it will come out 
in relief. Then take a little slice? of strong wood, and indent the radi- 
ating beams of the diadem. And this wants to be the system for the 
wall. 


HOW FROM THE WALL YOU ENTER UPON 
PANEL-PAINTING. 
CHAPTER CIII 
ENDS THE FOURTH SECTION OF THIS BOOK. 

When you do not want to embellish your figures with tin, you 
may embellish them with mordants, which I shall discuss thoroughly 
in due course, later on: which ones you may use for wall, for panel, 
for glass, for iron, and for every kind of material; and the ones which 
are strong, and adequate to stay outside in the wind and wet; and the 
ones which are to be varnished, and the ones which are not. But still 
I must get back to our painting, and from the wall go on to panels 
or anconas, the nicest and the neatest occupation which we have in 
our profession. And bear this well in mind, that anyone who learns 
to work on the wall first, and then on panel, will not get such per- 
fect mastery by his bargain as one who starts learning on panel first, 
and then on the wall. 


THE SYSTEM BY WHICH YOU SHOULD PREPARE TO 
ACQUIRE THE SKILL TO WORK ON PANEL. 
CHAPTER CIIII 

Know that there ought not to be less time spent in learning than 
this: to begin as a shopboy studying for one year, to get practice in 
drawing on the little panel; next, to serve in a shop under some mas- 
ter to learn how to work at all the branches which pertain to our 


1 Sc., “fastened to one beam.” 2 See n. 5, p. 21, above. 


MAKING PASTE 65 


profession; and to stay and begin the working up of colors; and to 
learn to boil the sizes, and grind the gessos; and to get experience in 
gessoing anconas, and modeling and scraping them; gilding and 
stamping; for the space of a good six years. Then to get experience in 
painting, embellishing with mordants, making cloths of gold, getting 
practice in working on the wall, for six more years; drawing all the 
time, never leaving off, either on holidays or on workdays.’ And in 
this way your talent, through much practice, will develop into real 
ability. Otherwise, if you follow other systems, you need never hope 
that they will reach any high degree of perfection. For there are many 
who say that they have mastered the profession without having 
served under masters. Do not believe it, for I give you the example of 
this book: even if you study it by day and by night, if you do not see 
some practice under some master you will never amount to anything, 
nor will you ever be able to hold your head up in the company of 
masters. 

Beginning to work on panel, in the name of the Most Holy Trinity: 
always invoking that name and that of the Glorious Virgin Mary. 


HOW YOU MAKE BATTER OR FLOUR PASTE. 
CHAPTER CV 

To begin with we have to make . . .,° that is; and they are known 
as various sorts of size. There is one size which is made of cooked 
batter, and it is good for parchment workers and masters who make 
books; and it is good for pasting parchments together, and also for 
fastening tin to parchment. We sometimes need it for pasting up 
parchments to make stencils. This size is made as follows. Take a 
pipkin almost full of clear water; get it quite hot. When it is about to 
boil, take some well-sifted flour; put it into the pipkin little by little, 
stirring constantly with a stick or a spoon. Let it boil, and do not get 
it too thick. Take it out; put it into a porringer. If you want to keep 
it from going bad, put in some salt; and so use it when you need it. 


1 Cf. Othloh, Liber de Temptatione . . ., in Pertz, Monumenta germaniae his- 
toriae scriptorum, XI, 392: “ . raro nisi in festivis diebus aut in aliis horis incom- 
petentibus ab hoc opere cessaret.” 

2 We can only guess at the words omitted here: perhaps “the necessary adhesive ma- 
terials” might be supplied. 


66 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD MAKE CEMENT FOR 
MENDING STONES. 
CHAPTER CVI 

There is a cement which is good for mending stones: and this one 
is made of mastic, fresh wax, sifted pounded stone; and then all 
melted up thoroughly together on the fire. Take your broken stone, 
and warm it well; put some of this cement on it. It will last forever, 
in the wind; and in water if you were to mend sharpening or grind- 
ing wheels, or millstones, with it. 


HOW TO MAKE CEMENT FOR MENDING 
DISHES OF GLASS. 
CHAPTER CVII 

And there is a cement which is good for mending glasses, or hour- 
glasses, or any other fine dishes of Damascus or Majorca which might 
be broken. To make this cement, take liquid varnish, a little white 
lead and verdigris. Put into them some of the same color as the glass: 
if it is blue, put in a little indigo; if it is green, let the verdigris pre- 
dominate, and sic de singulis. And then work these ingredients up 
together very finely. Take the pieces of your broken dishes or goblets, 
and, even if they are in a thousand fragments, fit them together, 
putting this cement on them thinly. Let it dry for a few months in 
the sun and wind; and you will find these dishes stronger, and more 
fit to stand water," where they are broken than where they are whole. 


HOW FISH GLUE IS USED, AND HOW IT IS TEMPERED. 
CHAPTER CVIII 
There is a glue which is known as fish glue. This glue is made from 
various kinds of fish. If you put the little piece, or leaf, in your mouth, 
just as it is, until it gets a little wet, and rub it on sheep parchments 
or other parchments, this fastens them together very securely. To 
dissolve it, . . .” It is good and excellent for mending lutes and other 





1 Meglio da difendersi dall’aqua. Lady Herringham follows Mrs. Merrifield in trans- 
lating, “better able to keep out the water.” The commoner function of a glass dish, as 
I conceive it, is to keep the water 27! 

2 We may supply “you must put it on the fire,” or something of that sort; or pos- 


BOILING GLUE AND SIZE 67 


fine paper, wooden, or bone objects. When you put it on the fire, put 
in half a goblet of clear water for each leaf. 


HOW GOAT GLUE IS MADE, AND HOW IT IS TEMPERED; 
AND HOW MANY PURPOSES IT WILL SERVE. 
CHAPTER CVIIII 

And there is a glue which is known as leaf glue; this is made out 
of clippings of goats’ muzzles, feet, sinews, and many clippings of 
skins. This glue is made in March or January, during those strong 
frosts or winds; and it is boiled with clear water until it is reduced 
to less than a half.* Then put it into certain flat dishes, like jelly molds 
or basins, straining it thoroughly. Let it stand overnight. Then, in the 
morning, cut it with a knife into slices like bread; put it on a mat to 
dry in the wind, out of the sunlight; and an ideal glue will result. 
This glue is used by painters, by saddlers, and by ever so many mas- 
ters, as I shall show you later on. And it is a good glue for wood, and 
for many things. We shall discuss it thoroughly, showing what it 
may be used for, and how, for gessos, for tempering colors, making 
lutes, tarsias, fastening pieces of wood and foliage ornament together, 
tempering gessos, doing raised gessos; and it is good for many things. 


A PERFECT SIZE FOR TEMPERING GESSOS FOR 
ANCONAS OR PANELS. 
CHAPTER CX 


And there is a size which is made of the necks” of goat and sheep 
parchments, and clippings of these parchments; these are washed 


sibly the whole sentence should be recast: A struggierla e buna. E perfettissima . . .: 
and translated, “It is good if you dissolve it. It is the best thing for mending. . . .” 

For similar and fuller instructions see Rockinger, art. cit. p. 4 supra, 1t® Abt., 27; 
and among many others, the parallel account in the De arte illuminandi, § 15 (ed. A. 
Lecoy de La Marche, p. 95). 

1 Torna men che per mezzo. See note on p. 58, above. 

? Finished parchment represents only a fairly small proportion of the total area of 
the skin from which it is made. This rule utilizes the waste produced by trimming out 
the rectangular sheets of parchment from the skin, as the next one, Chapter CXI, em- 
ploys the scrapings taken off by the parchment maker’s knife. Mrs. Merrifield translates 
colli as “shavings”; Lady Herringham amends this to “waste”; I see no reason to avoid 
the literal translation, “necks.” 


68 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


thoroughly, and put to soak a day before you put them on to boil. 
Boil it with clear water until the three parts are reduced to one. And 
when you have no leaf glue, I want you just to use this size for 
gessoing panels or anconas; for you cannot get any better one any- 
where. 


A SIZE WHICH IS GOOD FOR TEMPERING BLUES 
AND OTHER COLORS. 
CHAPTER CXI 
And there is a size which is made from the scrapings of goat or 
sheep parchment. Boil them with clear water until it is reduced to a 
third.' Know that it is a very clear? size, which looks like crystal. It is 
good for tempering dark blues. And apply a coat of this size in any 
place where you have happened to lay in colors which were not tem- 
pered sufficiently, and it will retemper the colors, and reinforce them, 
so that you may varnish them at will, if they are on panel; and blues 
on a wall the same way. And it would be good for tempering gessos, 
too; but it is lean in character, and it ought to be rather fat for any 


gesso which has to take gilding.* 


TO MAKE A GLUE OUT OF LIME AND CHEESE. 
CHAPTER CXII 
ENDS THE FIFTH* SECTION OF THIS BOOK. 


There is a glue used by workers in wood; this is made of cheese. 
After putting it to soak in water, work it over with a little quicklime, 
using a little board with both hands. Put it between the boards; it 
joins them and fastens them together well. And let this suffice you for 
the making of various kinds of glue. 


1 Chettorni per terzo. See note on p. 58, above. 

2 Or “light colored”’ (chiarissima). 

8 “Lean” (magra), and “rather fat” (grassetta), are literal translations which re- 
quire a word of comment here. The pure gelatine which results from the present rule 
has practically no adhesive properties, such as glue made as directed in Chapter CVIIII 
possesses. That more tenacious and adhesive size may be described as “fatter,” more 
substantial, more full bodied; and the present one as “lean” in contrast. 

*For MSS quarta, 1, 66, 1. 19, read quinta. The fourth section ends with Chapter 


CIII, p. 64, above. 


PREPARING THE PANEL 69 


HOW YOU SHOULD START TO WORK ON 
PANEL OR ANCONAS. 
CHAPTER CXIII 

Now we come to the business of working on anconas or on panel. 
To begin with, the ancona should be made of a wood which is known 
as whitewood or poplar, of good quality, or of linden, or willow. And 
first take the body of the ancona, that is, the flats, and see whether 
there are any rotten knots; or, if the board is greasy at all, have the 
board planed down until the greasiness disappears; for I could never 
give you any other cure. 

See that the wood is thoroughly dry; and if it were wooden figures, 
or leaves, so that you could boil them with clear water in kettles, that 
wood would never give you any trouble with cracks. 

Let us just go back to the knots or nodes, or other defects which 
the flat of the panel may display. Take some strong leaf glue; heat 
up as much as a goblet or glass of water; and boil two leaves of glue, 
in a pipkin free from grease. Then have some sawdust wet down with 
this glue in a porringer. Fill the flaws of the nodes with it, and smooth 
down with a wooden slice, and let it stand. Then scrape with a knife 
point until it is even with the surrounding level. Look it over again; if 
there is a bud, or nail, or nail end, sticking through the surface, beat 
it well down into the board. Then take small pieces of tin foil, like 
little coins, and some glue, and cover over carefully wherever any 
iron comes; and this is done so that the rust from the iron may never 
come to the surface of the gessos. And the flat of the ancona must 
never be too much smoothed down. First take a size made of clip- 
pings of sheep parchments, boiled until one part remains out of three. 
Test it with the palms of your hands; and when you find that one 
palm sticks to the other, it will be right. Strain it two or three times. 
Then take a casserole half full of this size, and the third <part>* water, 
and get it boiling hot. Then apply this size to your ancona, over 
foliage ornaments, canopies, little columns, or any sort of work which 
you have to gesso, using a large soft bristle brush. Then let it dry. 

1 The original is ambiguous here. I understand it to mean: “Add half as much 


water as you have size,” as Cennino’s rules usually call for a total of three “parts.” 
The point has little practical significance in this case. 


70 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Next take some of your original strong size, and put two coats over 
this work with your brush; and always let it dry between one coat and 
the next; and it will come out perfectly sized. And do you know what 
the first size, with water, accomplishes? Not being so strong, it is 
just as if you were fasting, and ate a handful of sweetmeats, and 
drank a glass of good wine, which is an inducement for you to eat 
your dinner. So it is with this size: it is a means of giving the wood a 
taste for receiving the coats of size and gesso. 


HOW YOU SHOULD PUT CLOTH ON A PANEL. 
CHAPTER CXIIII 

When you have done the sizing, take some canvas, that is, some 
old thin linen cloth, white threaded, without a spot of any grease. 
Take your best size; cut or tear large or small strips of this canvas; 
sop them in this size; spread them out over the flats of these anconas 
with your hands; and first remove the seams; and flatten them out 
well with the palms of your hands; and let them dry for two days. 
And know that this sizing and gessoing call for dry and windy 
weather. Size wants to be stronger in summer than in winter. Gilding 
calls for damp and rainy weather. 


HOW THE FLAT OF A PANEL SHOULD BE GESSOED 
WITH THE SLICE WITH GESSO GROSSO. 
CHAPTER CXV 


When the ancona is quite dry, take a tip of a knife shaped like a 
spatula, so that it will scrape well; and go over the flat. If you find any 
little lump, or seam of any sort, remove it. Then take some gesso 
grosso, that is, plaster of Paris," which has been purified® and sifted 


1 Giesso grosso, cioe Volteriano: That is, “coarse plaster, of Volterra.” Perhaps 
Cennino’s plaster was no more Volteriano than ours is Parisian! 

2 The phrase, che e purghato, may be introduced in L through error, or through 
confusion by the scribe of gesso grosso with gesso sottile, anticipating the directions 
of Chapter CXVI. R gives quite a different reading: “. . . gesso grosso . . . which is 
purified like flour; and, when sifted, put a little porringerful. . . .” 

It might be argued that purgare actually means “to slake,” and that the gesso grosso 
was intended to be slaked in some way less than the gesso sottile. This, however, seems 
to me as improbable in theory as I know it to be unnecessary, and even undesirable, in 
practice. 


GESSO SOTTILE 71 


like flour. Put a little porringerful on the porphyry slab, and grind it 
with this size very vigorously, as if it were a color. Then scrape it up 
with a slice; put it on the flat of the ancona, and proceed to cover all 
the flats with it, with a very even and rather broad slice; and where- 
ever you can lay it with this slice you do so. Then take some of this 
same ground-up gesso; warm it; and take a small soft bristle brush, 
and lay some of this gesso over the moldings and over the leaves, and 
likewise over the flats gessoed with the slice. You lay three or four 
coats of it on the other parts and moldings; but you cannot lay too 
much on the flats. Let it dry for two or three days. Then take this 
iron spatula and scrape over the flat. Have some little tools made 
which are called “little hooks,”* such as you will see at the painters’ 
made up in various styles. Shape up the moldings and foliage orna- 
ments nicely, so that they do not stay choked up; get them even; and 
contrive to get every flaw in the flats and gap in the moldings repaired 


by this gessoing. 


HOW TO MAKE THE GESSO SOTTILE FOR 
GESSOING PANELS. 
CHAPTER CXVI 

Now you have to have a gesso which is called gesso sottile; and it 
is some of this same gesso, but it is purified for a whole month by being 
soaked in a bucket. Stir up the water every day, so that it practically 
rots away, and every ray of heat goes out of it, and it will come out 
as soft as silk. Then the water is poured off, and it is made up into 
loaves, and allowed to dry; and then this gesso is sold to us painters 
by the apothecaries. And this gesso is used for gessoing, for gilding, 
for doing reliefs, and making handsome things. 


8 Raffietti: These are made nowadays in Italy under the name of raschiai. The so- 
called “plaster tools’? of the sculptors, made of bronze or steel, may be pressed into 
service, but a set of raschiai1, with blades shaped to meet the requirements of moldings, 
carvings, pastiglia, etc., mounted at right angles to shafts and handles of convenient 
shape, will lighten and expedite the work enormously. The modern practice of “draw- 
ing up” the gesso as it is applied, with cut pumice templets, and smoothing off after 
the gesso is dry with the same templets and water, produces a rather mechanical per- 
fection, and is not applicable to carved ornaments. 


72 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW TO GESSO AN ANCONA WITH GESSO SOTTILE; 
AND HOW TO TEMPER IT. 
CHAPTER CXVII 

When you have done the gessoing with gesso grosso, and scraped 
it nice and smooth, and evened it up well and carefully, take some of 
this gesso sottile. Put it, loaf by loaf, into a washbasin of clear water; 
let it soak up as much water as it will. Then put it on the porphyry 
slab, a little at a time, and without putting any more water in with 
it, grind it very thoroughly. Then place it neatly on a piece of strong 
white linen cloth; and keep on doing this until you have taken out 
one loaf of it. Then fold it up in this cloth, and squeeze it out thor- 
oughly, so as to get as much water out of it as possible. When you 
have ground as much of it as you are going to need, which you must 
consider carefully, so as not to have to make gessos tempered in two 
ways, which would not be a good system, take some of that same size 
with which you tempered the gesso grosso. Enough of it wants to be 
made at one time for you to temper the gesso sottile and the grosso. 
And the gesso sottile wants to be tempered less than the gesso grosso. 
The reason?—Because the gesso grosso is your foundation for every- 
thing. Nevertheless, you will naturally realize that you cannot squeeze 
the gesso out so much that there will not still be some little water 
left in it. And for this reason, make the same size, confidently. 

Take a new casserole, which is not greasy; and if it is glazed, so 
much the better. Take the loaf of this gesso, and with a penknife cut 
it thin, as if you were cutting cheese; and put it into this casserole. 
Then pour some of the size over it; and proceed to break up this gesso 
with your hand, as if you were making a batter for pancakes, 
smoothly and deftly, so that you do not get it frothy. Then have a 
kettle of water, and get it quite hot, and place this casserole of tem- 
pered gesso over it. And this keeps the gesso warm for you; and do 
not let it boil, for if it boiled it would be ruined. When it is warm, 
take your ancona; and dip into this pipkin with a good-sized and 
quite soft bristle brush, and pick up a reasonable amount of it, 
neither lavish nor skimpy; and lay a coat of it all over the flats and 
moldings and foliage ornaments. It is true that for this first coat, as 
you are applying it, you smooth out and rub over the gesso, wher- 


APPLYING GESSO 73 


ever you lay it, using your fingers and the palm of your hand, with a 
rotary motion; and this makes the gesso sottile unite well with the 
grosso. When you have got this done, begin over again, and apply 
a brush coat of it all over, without rubbing it with your hand any 
more. Then let it stand ‘a while, not long enough for it to dry out 
altogether; and put on another coat, in the other direction, still with 
the brush; and let it stand as usual. Then give it another coat in the 
other direction. And in this way, always keeping your gesso warm, 
you lay at least eight coats of it on the flats. You may do with less on 
the foliage ornaments and other reliefs; but you cannot put too much 
of it on the flats. This is because of the scraping which comes next. 


HOW YOU MAY GESSO WITH GESSO SOTTILE WITHOUT 
HAVING GESSOED WITH GESSO GROSSO FIRST. 
CHAPTER CXVIII 

Furthermore, it is all right to give any small-sized and choice bits 
of work two or three coats of size, as I told you before; and simply 
put on as many coats of gesso sottile as you find by experience are 
needed. 


HOW YOU SHOULD TEMPER AND GRIND GESSO 
SOTTILE FOR MODELING. 
CHAPTER CXVIIII 

There are many, too, who just grind the gesso sottile with size, and 
not with water. This is all right for gessoing anything which has not 
been gessoed with gesso grosso, for it ought to be more strongly 
tempered. 

This same gesso is very good for modeling up leaves and other pro- 
ductions, as you often need to do. But when you make this gesso for 
modeling, put in a little Armenian bole, just enough to give it a little 
color. 


1 Modeling executed on the gesso surface with gesso applied with a brush is now 
generally called pastiglia. (See Chapter CXXIIII, p. 76, below.) The addition of a little 
coloring matter makes it easier to see the effect of the work as it progresses. The mod- 
ern trade equivalent for “Armenian bole” is “Gilders’ Red Clay,” or “Red Burnish 
Gold-Size.” 


74 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD START TO SCRAPE DOWN AN 
ANCONA FLAT GESSOED WITH GESSO 
SOLTIEE, 
CHAPTER CXX 

When you have finished the gessoing, which must be finished in 
one day (and, if necessary, put in part of the night at it, just so you 
allow your required intervals), let it dry without sun for at least 
two days and two nights: the longer you let it dry, the better it is. 
Take a rag and some ground-up charcoal, done up like a little ball, 
and dust over the gesso of this ancona. Then with a bunch of hen or 
goose feathers sweep and spread out this black powder over the gesso. 
This is because the flat cannot be scraped down too perfectly; and, 
since the tool with which you scrape the gesso has a straight edge, 
wherever you take any off it will be as white as milk. Then you will 
see clearly where it is still necessary to scrape it down. 


HOW THE GESSO SOTTILE ON THE FLATS SHOULD BE 
SCRAPED DOWN, AND WHAT THESE SCRAP- 
INGS ARE GOOD FOR. 
CHAPTER CXXI 

First take a “little hook”! with a straight edge, one finger wide, and 
go lightly all around the flat, scraping the molding once. Then take 
your spatula, ground to as straight an edge as possible; and with a 
light touch, not holding the point tightly at all, you rub it over the 
flat of your ancona, sweeping the gesso ahead of you with these 
feathers. And know that these sweepings are excellent for taking the 
oil out of the parchments of books. And in the same way scrape down 
the moldings and foliage ornaments with your little tools; and smooth 
it up asif it were an ivory. And sometimes, if you are hurried and have 
several jobs on hand, you may just smooth up the moldings and 
foliage ornaments with a linen rag, soaked and wrung out, rubbing 
it well over these moldings and foliage ornaments. 


1 Raffietto. See n. 3, p. 71, above. 


DESIGNING THE PANEL 75 


HOW TO DRAW ON PANEL WITH CHARCOAL, TO BEGIN 
WITH, AND TO FIX IT WITH INK. 
CHAPTER CXXII 

When the gesso has all been scraped down, and come out like ivory, 
the first thing for you to do is to draw in your ancona or panel with 
those willow coals which I taught you to make before. But the char- 
coal wants to be tied to a little cane or stick, so that it comes some 
distance from the figures; for it is a great help to you in composing. 
And keep a feather handy; so that, if you are not satisfied with any 
stroke, you may erase it with the barbs of the feather, and draw it 
over again. And draw with a light touch. And then shade the folds 
and the faces, as you did with the brush, or as you did with the pen; 
for you draw as if you were working with a pen. When you have 
finished drawing your figure, especially if it is in a very valuable 
ancona, so that you are counting on profit and reputation from it, 
leave it alone for a few days, going back to it now and then to look 
it over and improve it wherever it still needs something. When it 
seems to you about right* (and bear in mind that you may copy and 
examine things done by other good masters; that it is no shame to 
you), when the figure is satisfactory, take the feather and rub it over 
the drawing very lightly, until the drawing is practically effaced; 
though not so much but that you may still make out your strokes. 
And take a little dish half full of fresh water, and a few drops of ink; 
and reinforce your whole drawing, with a small pointed minever 
brush. Then take a little bunch of feathers, and sweep the whole 
drawing free of charcoal. Then take a wash of this ink, and, with a 
rather blunt minever brush, shade in some of the folds, and some of 
the shadow on the face. And you come out with such a handsome 
drawing, in this way, that you will make everyone fall in love with 
your productions. 


1 In editing the Italian text, I, 73, 1. 13, I indicated my belief that a lacuna exists 
here. By re-punctuating the text to read, Joc. cit., Il. 13-15: “. . . presso di bene, (e 
sappi, . . . vergongnia), staendo la figura bene . . .” it may be construed as com- 
plete, though awkward, as I have translated it here. 


76 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW YOU SHOULD MARK OUT THE OUTLINES OF 
THE FIGURES FOR GILDING THE GROUNDS. 
CHAPTER CXXIII 

When you have got your whole ancona drawn in, take a needle 
mounted in a little stick; and scratch over the outlines of the figure 
against the grounds which you have to gild, and the ornaments which 
are to be made for the figures, and any special draperies which are to 


be made of cloth of gold. 


HOW TO MODEL ON A PANEL WITH GESSO SOTTILE, 
AND HOW TO MOUNT PRECIOUS STONES. 
CHAPTER CXXIIII 

After this, take some of that gesso for modeling,’ if you want to 
model any ornament or foliage ornament, or to mount any precious 
stones in any special ornaments in front of God the Father or Our 
Lady, or any other special embellishments, for they add greatly to 
the beauty of your work. And there are glass gems of various colors. 
Arrange them systematically, and have your gesso in a little dish over 
a pot of hot ashes, and a little dish of hot clear water, for you have 
to wash the brush out often; and this brush is to be of minever, quite 
fine, and rather long; taking up some of the warm gesso neatly on 
the tip of this brush; and briskly set to modeling whatever you please. 
And if you are modeling any little leaves, draw them in first, as you 
do the figure. And do not try to model many of them, or too many 
complicated objects; for the clearer you make your foliage orna- 
ments, the better they respond to the stamping with the rosette,” and 
they can be burnished better with the stone. There are some masters 
who, after they have modeled what they want, apply one or two coats 
of the gesso with which they gessoed the ancona, just the gesso sottile, 
with a soft bristle brush. But if you model lightly, in my opinion you 
get a finer, stronger, surer result by not putting any on, by the system 
which I stated earlier—of not putting on several types of gesso tem- 
peras. 





1 See Chapter CXVIIII, p. 73, above. 2 See n. 6, p. 88, below. 


RELIEF ORNAMENTS a7, 


HOW YOU SHOULD CAST A RELIEF FOR EMBELLISHING 
AREAS OF ANCONAS. 
CHAPTER CXXV 

Since we are on the subject of modeling, I will tell you something 
about it. With this same gesso, or some stronger of size, you may cast 
a lion’s head, or any other impressions taken in earth or in clay.’ Oil 
this impression with lamp oil;* put in some of this gesso, well tem- 
pered; and let it get quite cold; and then lift up the gesso at the side 
of the impression, with the point of a penknife, and blow hard. It 
will come out clean. Let it dry. Then apply some in embellishments in 
this way. With a brush, smear some of the same gesso with which 
you do the gessoing, or some of that with which you model, wher- 
ever you want to put this head; press it down with your finger, and 
it will stay in place neatly. Then take some of this gesso, and lay a 
coat or two of it, with the minever brush, over the part which you are 
modeling, and rub over this casting with your finger; and let it stand. 
Then feel over it with a knife point, to see whether there are any little 
lumps on it, and remove them. 


HOW TO PLASTER RELIEFS ON A WALL. 
CHAPTER CXXVI 

I will also tell you about modeling on a wall. In the first place, there 
are certain wall jobs involving curves or leaves which cannot be 
plastered with the trowel. Take some well-sifted lime, and well-sifted 
sand; put them into a pan, and temper them well to a batter, with a 
large bristle brush and clear water; and apply several coats of it with 
this brush to the places in question. Then smooth it with the trowel, 
and it will come out neatly plastered. And execute it, wet and dry,’ as 
you were taught for work in fresco. 

1 R has cera, “wax.” See notes on pp. 129 and 130, below. 


2 Olio da bruciare: a vegetable oil, probably olive oil, of inferior quality. 
3 Ellavorala frescha e seccha. That is, in fresco and in secco. 


78 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW TO MODEL WITH MORTAR ON A WALL THE WAY 
YOU MODEL WITH GESSO ON PANEL. 
CHAPTER CXXVII 

Furthermore, with the aforesaid mortar, worked up a little on the 
stone, you can model whatever you want on a wall, just the way I 
taught you for panel, right in the mortar and fresh plaster. 


HOW TO TAKE RELIEFS FROM A STONE MOLD, AND 
HOW THEY ARE GOOD ON WALL 
AND ON PANEL. 
CHAPTER CXXVIII 
You may also get a stone, carved with devices of any style you wish; 
and grease this stone with bacon fat or lard. Then get some tin foil; 
and, laying some fairly moist tow on the tin which lies over the mold, 
and beating it as hard as you can, with a willow mallet, you then take 
gesso grosso ground with size, and fill up this impression with the 
slice. You may embellish with these on a wall, on chests, on stone, on 
anything you please, afterward putting some mordant over the tin; 
and when it is a little tacky, gild it with fine gold. Then, when it is 
dry, fasten it to the wall with ship pitch. 


HOW YOU MAY MODEL ON A WALL WITH VARNISH. 
CHAPTER CXXVIIII 
You may also model on a wall <in this way>. Take some liquid var- 
nish mixed with flour, well worked up together; and model it with 
a pointed minever brush. 


HOW YOU MAY MODEL ON A WALL WITH WAX. 
CHAPTER CXXX 
Furthermore, you may model on a wall with melted wax and 


ship pitch mixed together: the two parts wax, the third, pitch. Model 
with a brush. Have it hot. 


To get back to our previous discussion: 


BOLE FOR GILDING 79 


HOW TO LAY BOLE ON PANEL, AND HOW 
TO TEMPER IT. 
CHAPTER CXXXI 

When you have finished modeling your ancona, get some Ar- 
menian bole,’ and choose a good grade. Touch it to your lower lip: if 
you find that it sticks, that is excellent. Now you will need to know 
how to make the perfect tempera for gilding. Take the white of an 
egg in a very clean glazed porringer. Take a whisk with several 
branches cut even; and you beat this white as if you were beating 
up spinach, or a purée, until the whole porringer is full of a solid foam 
which looks like snow. Then take an ordinary drinking glass, not too 
large, not quite full of good clear water; and pour it over the white 
in the porringer. Let it stand and distil from evening to morning. 
Then grind the bole with this tempera, as long as ever you can. Take 
a soft sponge; wash it well, and dip it in good clear water; squeeze it 
out; then rub lightly with this sponge, not too wet, wherever you 
want to gild. Then, with a good-sized minever brush, temper some 
of this bole, as thin as water for the first coat; and wherever you want 
to gild, and where you have damped down with the sponge, lay this 
bole all over, watching out for the breaks which the brush sometimes 
makes. Then wait a while; put some more of this bole into your little 
dish, and have the second coat stronger of color. And you lay the sec- 
ond coat of it in the same way. Again you let it stand for a while; 
then you put some more bole into the little dish, and put on the third 
coat as before, watching out for the breaks. Then put some more 
bole into the little dish, and lay the fourth coat in the same way: and 
in this way it gets covered with bole. Now the job should be covered 
up with a cloth, to shield it as far as you can from dust and sun and 
water. 


ANOTHER WAY TO TEMPER BOLE ON PANEL, 
FOR GILDING. 
CHAPTER CXXXII 
This tempera can also be made in another way, in grinding the bole. 


Take the egg white and put it on the porphyry slab, whole, as it is. 


1 See n. 1, p. 73, above. 


80 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Then have the bole powdered; wet it up in this egg white. Then grind 
it well and finely; and as it dries under your hands, add good clear 
clean water on the slab. Then when it is well ground, temper it with 
plain clear water, so that it runs from the brush; and lay four coats 
of it on your work in the same way described above. And this method 
will be surer for you than the other tempera as long as you have not 
had much experience. Cover up your ancona carefully, and protect it 
from dust, as I have said. 


HOW YOU MAY GILD ON PANEL WITH TERRE-VERTE. 
CHAPTER CXXXIII 
You may do also as our forefathers used to, that is, apply canvas all 
over the whole ancona before you gesso; and then gild with terre- 
verte, grinding this terre-verte with whichever of these two kinds of 
tempera, which I have just taught you, you prefer. 


HOW TO GILD ON PANEL. 
CHAPTER CXXXIIII 

When some mild damp weather comes along, and you want to do 
some gilding, have this ancona laid out on two trestles. Take your 
feathers; sweep it off thoroughly. Take a little hook;* feel over the 
ground of the bole with a light touch. If there should be any foreign 
matter, or any little lump or grit, get rid of it. Take a piece of a strip 
of linen cloth, and burnish the bole briskly. Burnishing it also with 
a crook* would be sure to help. When you have got it burnished and 
cleaned up in this way, take a goblet almost full of good clean clear 
water, and put a little of that white-of-egg tempera into it. And if it 
were a trifle stale, so much the better. Mix it up thoroughly with the 
water in the goblet. Take a good-sized minever brush made out of the 
tips of the tails as I told you before; take your fine gold, and pick up 
the leaf carefully with a pair of tweezers or small pincers. Have a 
card cut in a square larger than the leaf of gold, trimmed off at each 





1 See n. 3, p. 71, above. 

2 That is, a stone burnisher with a curved point. (See n. 2, p. 25, above.) This 
operation—burnishing directly on the bole ground—wears out the burnisher, so Cen- 
nino hesitates to advise it. 


WATER GILDING 81 


corner. Hold it in your left hand; and, using the brush with your 
right hand, wet down as much of the bole as is to receive the leaf of 
gold which you have in your hand. And wet it down evenly, so that 
there will not be any more water in one place than in another. Then 
carefully bring the gold up to the water on the bole; but have the 
gold extend a little bit beyond the card, just so that the little tip* of the 
card will not get wet. Now, as soon as you have brought the gold into 
contact with the water, instantly and quickly draw your hand and 
the little tip toward you. And if you observe that the gold is not all in 
contact with the water, take a bit of fresh cotton-wool, and tamp the 
gold down, as lightly as ever you can. And lay some more leaves in 
the same way. And when you are wetting down for the second leaf, 
take care to run the brush along the edge of the leaf just laid so 
accurately that the water will not run over it. And see to it that you 
lap the one which you are laying a little bit over the one which has 
been laid; first breathing upon the latter, so that the gold will adhere 
to the part where it overlaps. When you have laid about three pieces, 
go back and tamp the first one down with the cotton, breathing on it, 
and that will show you whether it requires any faulting.* Then fix 
yourself up a cushion, the size of a brick or tile, that is, a good flat 
board, with some nice soft white leather stretched over it, not greasy, 
but the kind that calfskins make. Tack it on, nicely spread out, and 
fill in between the wood and the leather with shearings. Then lay a 
leaf of gold out flat on this cushion; and with a good straight spat- 
ula cut this gold into such little pieces as you require for the faults 
which remain. Take a small pointed minever brush, and wet these 
faults with the usual tempera. And thus, if you moisten the handle of 
the brush with your lips a little cupped, it will be adequate to pick up 

8 Tanto chella paletta della charta non si bangni. A paletta is literally a “little 
shovel”; here, the “tip” of the card formed by trimming off its corners. This method 
is not suitable for handling the ordinary gold leaf of modern commerce. The thin mod- 
ern leaf is best applied with a “gilder’s tip,” a flat thin brush made of long hairs 
mounted between cards. This is called regularly in French, and not uncommonly in 
English, a “palette.” It may be noted that the cards in which the hairs are mounted 
almost invariably have their back corners trimmed off, and thus preserve something 
of the form of Cennino’s paletta, though the card itself no longer carries the gold. 


* “Faulting” is the workshop expression used by modern gilders to signify patching 
up with small pieces of leaf. 


82 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


the little scrap of gold and lay it on the fault. When you have finished 
the flats, though you ought to lay it so that you can burnish it the same 
day, as I shall show you when you have to gild moldings or leaves, 
take pains to gather up the scraps, as the master does who wishes to 
pave his way; so that you may always be as thrifty with the gold as 
you can, and make economies with it; and cover up the gold which 
you have laid, with white napkins. 


WHAT STONES ARE GOOD FOR BURNISHING 
THIS GILDING. 
CHAPTER CXXXV 


When you judge that the gold is ready to be burnished, take a stone 
known as hematite;' and I will teach you how to prepare it; and, 
failing this stone, and even better for anyone who can make the out- 
lay, sapphires, emeralds, balas rubies, topazes, rubies, and garnets: the 
choicer the stone, the better it is. A dog’s tooth is also good, or a 
lion’s, a wolf’s, a cat’s, and in general that of any animal which feeds 


decently upon flesh.’ 


HOW TO PREPARE THE STONE FOR BURNISHING GOLD. 
CHAPTER CXXXVI 


Take a piece of hematite, and be careful to choose a good sound 
one, without any grain,’ with its whole structure* continuous from 


1 See Chapter XLII, and n. 1, p. 25, above. Amorphous hematite, and kidney ore 
are, of course, unsuitable for burnishers; the best, as Cennino specifies, is the specular 
iron ore, the crystalline form. 

2 Teeth of herbivorous animals were also employed. Rockinger, art. cit. p. 4, supra, 
rte Abt., p. 49, n., quotes from Munich, Staatsbibliothek, Cod. germ. 821, Liber il- 
luministarum pro fundamentis auri et coloribus ac consimilibus, foll. 209"-2097, the 
following directions, given by “Johannes Purger, caplan ze Trienndt,” for preparing a 
horse’s tooth for use as a burnisher: 

“Schleiff jn mit dem weczstain am ersten, das er gleich werd. hiiet dich das du das 
jnner vnder dem weissen auff dem zand nit beruerst, anders ist er nichts werd. vnd 
leym jn wol ein in ein holcz, das du jn [in] der hant haben migst zu pollieren, vnd 
lasz in diir werden. darnach nym ein linds locz, als eschen alber linden oder ander, 
vnd mach als ein linial, doch pasz dicker, vnd nym puluer von kesselprawn, vnd see es 
auff das holezli, vnd pollier den zand als lang bisz er glat vnd vein glancz wirt als ein 
spiegel.” 

8 Vena: as in pencil hematite. (See n. 1, p. 25, above.) 

4 That ziglzo actually means “structure” in the sense of “crystal structure” may be 
seen from the comment in Chapter XLII, already noted, that hematite has a tiglio 
like that of cinnabar. (See n. 1, p. 25, above.) 


BURNISHING THE GOLD 83 


top to bottom. Then betake yourself to the millstone, and grind it; 
and get it all straight across, and smooth, two fingers wide, or as much 
as you can. Then take some emery powder,’ and shape it up, not so 
that it gets a sharp edge, but just a little ridge. Round it off nicely at 
the corners. Then mount it ina wooden handle, with a brass or copper 
ferrule; and have the handle all round and smooth at the end, so that 
the palm of your hand will rest on it well. Then polish it in this way. 
Take a good flat porphyry; put some powdered charcoal on it; 
and burnish over the porphyry with this stone, gripping it tightly 
with your hand, as if you were burnishing. And the result is that your 
stone gets dense, and turns quite black, and so shiny that it looks like 
a diamond.* Then you must take great care of it, so that it does not 
get chipped or come in contact with iron. And when you want to use 
it for burnishing gold or silver, first keep it in your bosom, so that 
there will not be any dampness about it, for the gold is very fastidious. 


HOW YOU SHOULD BURNISH THE GOLD, OR MEND 
MATTERS IN CASE IT COULD NOT 
GET BURNISHED. 
CHAPTER CXXXVII 
Now the gold has to be burnished, because the time for that has 
arrived. It is true that in winter you may gild as much as you please, 
when the weather is damp and mild. In summer, lay your gold one 
hour, and burnish it the next. Now if it is too fresh, and some reason 
comes up why it has to be burnished, keep it in a place which gets 
some breath of heat, or breezes. Now if it is too dry, keep it in a moist 
place, always covered up; and when you want to burnish it, uncover 
it gently, with caution, for the slightest rubbing will injure it. If you 
put it in a cellar, at the foot of the casks or wine vats, it will become 
fit to burnish. Now if for some reason it has been impossible to get it 
burnished for a week or ten days or a month, take a good white nap- 
kin or towel; lay it over your gold, in the cellar or wherever it may 





3 Polvere di smeriglio: Mottez, Ilg, and Verkade translate this correctly; but Lady 
Herringham follows Mrs. Merrifield’s romantic but inaccurate example in translating 
it “emerald dust.” (Mrs. Merrifield’s reading is “dust of emeralds.”) 

4 Here, as in Chapter XLII, it is possible that we should read for diamante, ada- 
mante, “adamant.” 


84 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


be. Then take another napkin; soak it in clear water; wring it out, 
and squeeze it thoroughly. Open it up, and spread it on top of the 
first napkin which you laid over the gold; and the gold will soon 
come back so that it can be burnished. Now I have recounted the cir- 
cumstances of the case, when the gold is fit to stand being burnished. 


NOW I WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO BURNISH, AND IN 
WHAT DIRECTION, ESPECIALLY A FLAT. 
CHAPTER CXXXVIII 

Take your ancona, or whatever has been gilded; spread it out flat 
on two trestles, or on a bench. Take your burnishing stone, and rub 
it on your breast, or wherever you have any better clothing that is not 
greasy. Get it nice and warm; then sound out the gold, to see whether 
it is ready to be burnished; sound it out cautiously, always with hesi- 
tation. If you feel any dust under the stone, or feel it grit at all, like 
dust between your teeth, take a minever tail, and sweep lightly over 
the gold. And so burnish up a flat gradually, first in one direction, 
then, holding the stone quite flat, in the other direction. And if, while 
rubbing with the stone, it ever strikes you that the gold is not as even 
as a mirror, then take some gold, and put it on, by the leaf or the half 
leaf, at the same time blowing with your breath to begin with; and 
immediately burnish it with the stone. And if you ever find that even 
the flat of the gold is obstinate, and will not come out just to suit you, 
then again you lay it over once more in the same way. And, if you 
could stand the expense, it would be ideal, and good for your reputa- 
tion, to lay the whole ground over again that way. When shall you 
know that it is burnished properly ?—The gold then becomes almost 
dark from its own brilliance. 


WHAT GOLD IS GOOD FOR BURNISH AND FOR MOR- 
DANT GILDING, AND WHAT THICKNESS. 
CHAPTER CXXXVIIII 

Let me tell you that for the gold which is laid on flats they ought 
not to get more than a hundred leaves out of a ducat, whereas they do 
get a hundred and forty-five;* because the gold for the flat wants to be 


1 Modern leaf is considerably thinner than this. The Venetian ducat weighed fifty- 


GOLD STAMPING 85 


rather dull. If you want to be sure of the gold, when you buy it, get 
it from someone who is a good goldbeater; and examine the gold; 
and if you find it rippling and mat, like goat parchment, then consider 
it good. On moldings or foliage ornaments you will make out better 
with thinner gold; but for the delicate ornaments of the embellish- 
ment with mordants it ought to be very thin gold, and cobweb-like. 


HOW YOU SHOULD BEGIN SWINGING THE DIADEMS 
AND DO STAMPING ON THE GOLD, AND MARK 
OUT? THE OUTLINES OF THE FIGURES. 
CHAPTER CXL 


When you have burnished and finished your ancona, you must start 
by taking the compasses; swinging your crowns or diadems; engrav- 
ing them; tapping in a few ornaments; stamping them with tiny 
punches, so that they sparkle like millet grains; embellish with other 
punches; and do stamping if there are any foliage ornaments. You 


four troy grains, so Cennino’s best leaf weighed something like half a grain, and his 
thin leaf, about a third. The best trade leaf nowadays seldom weighs over a fifth of a 
grain, though most goldbeaters will furnish double-weight leaf without extra cost, and 
heavier gold can be procured from dealers in dentists’ supplies. 

Borghesi and Branchi, Nuovi documenti per la storia dell’arte Senese (Siena, 1898), 
p. 10, print the contract for Pietro Lorenzetti’s Arezzo ancona, in which he agrees to 
use “the finest gold leaf, 100 leaves to a florin.” The florin was equivalent to the 
ducat, so a leaf weighing half a grain, or thereabouts, may be considered the best 
fourteenth-century Italian standard. The size of the leaf does not seem to have been 
inflexibly determined; but from measurements made at Assisi, I judge that the leaves 
used by Pietro there were about 8.5 cm. square, almost exactly the size of the average 
modern leaf. 

Precise comparisons are not possible, and I will not enter into a long discussion here. 
For the present purpose, it will be enough to say that our ordinary commercial leaf is 
good for mordant gilding; double-weight leaf would have suited Cennino for “mold- 
ings and foliage ornaments”; and for flats, quadruple gold is desirable, if it can be 
obtained. It should be observed, however, that perfect gilding can be done with thin 
leaf: the advantage of heavier leaf lies not in any inferiority of the effect produced 
but in the greater ease of manipulation and freedom from blemishes which require 
faulting. 

1 Ritagliare. This corresponds exactly to the modern sign painters’ expression “cut 
in,” in the sense of establishing an outer edge. I find to my regret that this term is not 
generally understood, and suggests rather some such process of incision as described 
in Chapter CXXIII, p. 76, above. Lady Herringham misunderstood the Italian in this 
sense, translating it here, “indent.” Verkade’s translation, “beschneiden,” is the best, 
for it cannot be misconstrued, yet does convey the idea of “cutting in’’—figuratively 
—the sharp outline. 


86 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


will need to get some practice at this. When you have shaped up the 
diadems and ornaments in this way, take a bit of white lead in a little 
dish, thoroughly ground with a little diluted size; and with a smallish 
minever brush cover and mark out” the figures from the ground, just 
as you see those little marks which you scratched in with the needle 
before you laid the bole. Again, if you want to do without marking 
out® with white lead and the brush, take your little tools, and scrape 
off all the gold which is superfluous, or which laps over the figure: 
and this is better practice. 

This stamping which I am telling you about is one of our most de- 
lightful branches. And you may do all-over stamping, as I have de- 
scribed; and you may model in the stamping,’ so that, with imagina- 
tive feeling and a delicate touch, you may work out foliage ornaments 
on a gold ground, and make little angels and other figures so that they 
show up in the gold; that is, in the folds and in the shadows do not 
do any stamping; not much in the half tone; in the reliefs, a great 
deal; because stamping amounts to making the gold lighter; because 
by itself it is dark wherever it is burnished.* But before you stamp a 
figure or foliage ornament, draw on the gold ground whatever you 
want to do, with a style of silver or brass.” 


HOW TO DESIGN GOLD BROCADES IN VARIOUS COLORS." 


Before you get started on painting, I want to show you how to 
make a cloth of gold. If you want to make a mantle, or a gown, or a 
little cushion, out of cloth of gold, lay the gold with bole; and scratch 
in the folds of the drapery, just the way I taught you for gilding a 
ground. Then, if you want to make the cloth red, lay in with ver- 
milion over this burnished gold. If you need to put any dark on it, 
put it on with lac; if you need to put on lights, put them on with red 


2/Sce n. I, p. 85. 

8 Literally, “stamp in relief.”” The process is made clear by what follows. 

4 See p. 84, above. 

5 This paragraph, not found in L, is supplied from R. (See I, 84, n. 1.) From this 
point on, neither of the basic MSS has any original chapter headings or numbers; the 
headings printed here in italics are of my own composing, introduced purely for the 
convenience of the reader. (See above, Preface, p. xviil.) 

1 T., M., CXLI. 


GOLD BROCADES 87 


lead; all tempered with yolk of egg; but not rubbing your brush too 
hard, nor too many times. Let it dry; and put on at least two coats of it. 
And in the same way, if you want to make them green, black, or any 
way you like. But if you should want to do them with a handsome 
ultramarine blue, begin by laying in over the gold with white lead 
tempered with yolk of egg. When it is dry, temper your ultramarine 
blue with a little size and a little yolk, perhaps two drops; and lay in 
two or three coats of it over this white lead; and let it dry. Then you 
prepare your pounce patterns according to the cloths which you want 
to make; that is, first draw them on parchment;’ and then prick them 
carefully with a needle, holding a piece of canvas or cloth under the 
paper. Or do the pricking over a poplar or linden board; this is bet- 
ter than the canvas. When you have got them pricked, take dry colors 
according to the colors of the cloths upon which you have to pounce. 
If it is a white cloth, pounce with charcoal dust wrapped up in a bit 
of rag; if the cloth is black, pounce it with white lead, with the powder 
done up in a rag; and sic de singulis. Make your repeats so that they 
register well on each side. 


HOW TO EXECUTE GOLD OR SILVER BROCADES- 


When you have pounced your cloth, take a little style of birch, or 
hard wood, or bone; with a point, like a regular style for drawing, at 
one end; and a little edge at the other, for scraping. And with the 
point of this style, sketch in and shape up all your cloths; and with 
the other end of the style, scrape and remove the color from them, 
nicely, so as not to scratch the gold. And scrape whichever you please, 
either the ground or the pattern,’ and whatever you uncover, you 


2 Carta: this might equally well mean paper, but practice will make it clear that 
parchment is intended. (See n. 1, p. 6, above.) 

1T., M., CXLII. 

8 L'alacciato laccio <Latin léqueus “hole,” “opening”’> “net,” “mesh.” (See 
W. Meyer-Libke, Romanisches etymologisches Worterbuch [Heidelberg, 1911], 
$ 4909.) When a layer of color is “opened up” by scraping through to reveal the metal 
ground below it, the root meaning is sufficiently descriptive, and Jaccio is translated as 
“opening.” When, however, the pattern is conceived figuratively as made of /acci in a 
uniform ground, or, as here, when ground and pattern are regarded as interchangeable, 
laccio and its derivatives must be translated in their secondary sense, as “pattern.” 


88 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


stamp afterward with the rosette.® And if you cannot get the rosette 
into the little strokes, take a single little iron punch with a point like 
a drawing style. And in this way you begin learning how to make 
cloths of gold. If you want to make a cloth of silver, you must use the 
same system and method for laying silver as for laying gold. And, 
indeed, I advise you, if you want to teach boys or children how to do 
gilding, have them lay silver, so as to get some experience with it; 
for it is less expensive. 


SEVERAL RULES FOR CLOTHS OF GOLD AND SILVER.* 


Again, when you want to make a rich cloth of gold, the drapery 
which you wish to do may be modeled up with leaves and mounted 
jewels of various colors; then lay fine gold all over it; and then stamp 
it after it is burnished. 

Item. Gild the whole ground; burnish it; draw upon it the cloth 
which you wish to make, animal forms, or other subjects. Then stamp 
either the ground or the pattern,” that is, the subjects drawn upon it. 

Item. Gild the ground; burnish it; and model it in the stamping.* 

Item. Gild the ground; draw on it the subject which you want; lay 
in the grounds with verdigris in oil, shading some folds twice; then 
lay some uniformly all over the grounds and the subjects evenly. 

Item. Lay the drapery in silver; after you have burnished, for that 
is always understood, design your cloth; lay in the ground or the pat- 
tern* with vermilion, just tempered with yolk of egg; then lay a coat 
or two of fine lac in oil over each subject, like a pattern on a ground.” 


6 By “rosette” must be understood a stamping tool which produces a cluster of 
small points. In medieval gold stamping these are generally seen to be grouped on a 
rectangular surface. The number of points engraved on the rosette varied greatly, as 
did the size of the stamping surface. I hope that medieval stamping tools and their 
application will soon be made the objects of detailed study; for I believe that this aspect 
of technique offers a fertile field for critical investigation. 

1 T., M., CXLIII. 2 Lacci. See n. 2, p. 87, above. 

3 Granare arrilievo. See n. 3, p. 86, above. 4 Lacci. See n. 2, p. 87, above. 

5 Si chome laccio in canpo. It is tempting to read: si in laccio come in campo: that 
is, “on the pattern as well as the ground.” I strongly suspect that the finished product 
was intended to show a pattern of silver glazed with lac on a ground of vermilion also 
glazed with lac, and not, as the text suggests, a combination of vermilion and silver 
both with and without glazes; but I will not venture to modify the reading. R has 
laccio e campo: “such as pattern and ground.” 


PAINTING FANCY CLOTHS 89 


Item. If you want to make a handsome cloth with ultramarine blue, 
lay your drapery in burnished silver; design your cloth; set out either 
the grounds or the patterns® with this blue, tempering it with size. 
Then lay some evenly all over the grounds and the patterns; and it 
will be a velvety cloth. 

Item. Lay in and clothe the figure with any color you wish; shade 
it. Then take a fine minever brush, and some of the mordants. When 
you have got it pounced, work with the mordants, as I shall explain 
to you later on, according to the way you want to make the cloths and 
patterns.® And you may lay these mordants with gold or with silver; 
and they will come out lovely cloths if you sweep them off and bur- 
nish them with cotton. 

Item. When you have worked with any color you wish, as I said a 
little way back, and you want to get a shot effect, work over the gold 
with any oil color you please, provided it differs from the ground. 

Item. For a wall, put in the drapery with golden tin; lay it in with 
any ground you please; pounce it; execute and scrape the cloth with 
the wooden style, with the colors still tempered with yolk of egg. And 
it will be a very lovely cloth, as walls go. But you can work with 
mordants on a wall, as well as on panel. 


HOW TO DO VELVET, WOOL, AND SILK. 


If you want to get the effect of a velvet, do the drapery with any 
color you wish, tempered with yolk of egg. Then make the cut 
threads, as the velvet requires,” with a minever brush, in a color tem- 


8 Lacci: sce n. 3, p. 87, above. 1 T., M., CXLIV. 

2 Va’ facciendo i peluzi; chome ista il velluto. Velvets were something of a rarity in 
fourteenth-century Italy, and figured velvets still more so. Some figured velvets were 
woven in Venice early in the fifteenth century, and Cennino doubtless saw examples of 
those or their imported prototypes during his residence in Padua. The phrase, chome 
ista il velluto, seems to point to a figured, that is, “voided,” velvet. 

In weaving velvet by hand, threads from one or more extra warps are formed into 
loops by the insertion of grooved rods into the weaving shed. In so-called “terry vel- 
vets” the rods are withdrawn and the loops left as such. In “cut velvets” a blade 
separates the loops of pile warp into vertical threads, seated in the ground of the fabric 
much as the hairs of a fur are seated in the skin. These cut loops are the peluzi, the 
“little hairs.” Taken together they form the “pile” (Italian pelo: both this and the Eng- 
lish term are descended from the Latin pilus, “a hair”; so probably also the late Latin 
villus > Italian velluto), but Cennino evidently intends that the velvet should be painted 


go THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


pered with oil; and make the cut threads rather coarse. And you may 
make black velvets in this way, and red ones, and any colored ones, 
tempering in this way. 

Sometimes on a wall a lining has to be simulated, or a drapery 
which shall really look like woolen cloth. And for this, when you 
have plastered, smoothed down, and done the painting, put off what- 
ever you want to do until afterward. And take a little block, not much 
bigger than a checker® and, sprinkling clear water into or over this 
part with the brush, work over it, around and around, with this little 
block. The mortar gets rough and poor surfaced. Let it stay so, and 
paint it as it is, without smoothing down. And it will really look like 
woolen stuff or cloth.* 

Item. If you want to make a silk cloth, either on panel or wall, lay 
it in with vermilion, and hatch or sprig it? with red lead. Or hatch 
with dark sinoper; or hatch with vermilion or with giallorino on the 


like a fur, to some extent hair by hair. Since that would be, of course, impossible, he 
amends his direction: effa’ 1 pelucci grossetti—“and make the little hairs rather coarse.” 

Lady Herringham’s translation, “Make the pile with thick paint,” seems to me to 
miss the point, through confusion of the “pile” (pelo) with the “little hairs” (peluzi) of 
which it is made up. This passage is cited by A. P. Laurie, op. cit., p. 41: “Shape the 
pile with thick paint.” (In Dr. Laurie’s quotation a typographical error should be cor- 
rected: for “a minever brush tempered with oil,” read, “a minever brush and color 
tempered with oil.”’) 

8 Tavola da giuchare: this is a rather indefinite term at best, but we may under- 
stand it as a round piece, probably something like an inch in diameter. A “checker,” 
or “draught,” or even a “poker chip” is perhaps a little more graphic than Lady Her- 
ringham’s literal translation, “play-tablet.” 

4 Panno o ver drappo di lana. See n. 3, p. 26, above. 

5 Palia o ver viticha. Viticare is known only from this text. It has been regarded by 
Tambroni, the Milanesi, Tommaseo and others as synonymous with paliare, owing to 
the association of the terms here. Cennino’s paliare, furthermore, has been identified 
with palliare “to cover” <Latin pallium “cloak,” and understood as velare “to glaze.” 
So Tambroni, Trattato, pp. 159, 160, defines both palliare and viticare by velare; Tom- 
maseo, Dizionario, s.v. “palliare,” suggests that the imperative vitica may be a scribal 
error for vernica or vernicia. 

I do not believe that viticare is a by-form (by scribal error) of vernicare “to varnish,” 
but that it represents an independent verb based on Latin viticaila>Italian viticcio “ten- 
dril,” or “sprig”; the history of the derived Italian verb would then correspond almost 
exactly to the English “sprig” (NED v7) as in the phrase, “sprigged muslin” (see 
NED, “sprigged,” pple.). 

In printing pallia for MSS palia, the Milanesi, and Simi as well, have disguised the 
possibility that a verb paliare, elsewhere unrecorded, and distinct from palliare, might 
be intended. This I believe to be the case: that Cennino’s paliare looks back, not to 
Latin pallium, but to Latin paléa “chaff” > Italian paglia “straw,” and that the phrase 


PANEL-PAINTING gI 


wall, and on panel, with orpiment.® Or lay in dark with green or any 
color you please, and hatch it light. 

Item. On a wall, in fresco, lay in with indigo; and hatch with 
indigo and lime white mixed together. And if you wish to work with 
this color on panel, or on shields, mix the indigo with white lead tem- 
pered with size. And in this way you may make many cloths of 
various kinds, according to your understanding and to how much 
you enjoy it. 


HOW TO PAINT ON PANEL. 


I believe that by yourself you will have enough understanding, with 
your experience, to train yourself, by following this method, to under- 
stand working neatly with various kinds of cloth. And by the grace 
of God it is time for us to come to painting on panel. And let me tell 
you that doing a panel is really a gentleman’s job, for you may do 
anything you want to with velvets on your back.’ And it is true that 
the painting of the panel is carried out just as I taught you to work 
in fresco, except that you vary it in three* respects. The first, that you 
always want to work on draperies and buildings before faces. The 
second is that you must always temper your colors with yolk of egg, 
and get them tempered thoroughly—always as much yolk as the color 
which you are tempering. The third is that the colors want to be more 
choice, and well worked up, like water. And for your great pleasure, 
always start by doing draperies with lac* by the same system which I 
showed you for fresco; that is, leave the first value in its own color; 
and take the two parts of lac color, the third of white lead; and when 
this is tempered, step up three values from it, which vary slightly 


palia o ver viticha means, accordingly, “make straw-like or tendril-like markings,” 
hence, “hatch or sprig.” 

The context above demands some such explanation of both verbs. 

® We might venture to read: “O vo’ campeggiare . . . e palia. . .” That is, “Or 
lay in with dark sinoper, and hatch with vermilion or with giallorino.” 

The punctuation of the text, I, 87, ll. 3, 4, should be modified as follows: “gial- 
lorino in muro, e in tavola, d’orpimento. O di verde . . .” 

1 T., M., CXLV. 

2 The height of elegance! See n. 2, p. 89, above. 

3 MSS, “two.” Perhaps the copyists’ error; or perhaps the third “variation” was an 
afterthought of the author’s. 

4 NED, s.v. “Lac”1 2. See n. 1, p. 26, above. 


92 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


from each other: tempered well, as I have told you, and always made 
lighter with white lead well worked up. Then set your ancona up in 
front of you; and mind you always keep it covered with a sheet, for 
the sake of the gold and the gessos, so that they may not be injured by 
dust, and that your jobs may quit your hands very clean.“ Then 
take a rather blunt minever brush, and and start to apply the dark 
color, shaping up the folds where the dark part of the figure is to 
come. And in the usual way take the middle color and lay in the backs 
and the reliefs of the dark folds, and begin with this color to shape up 
the folds of the relief, and around toward the light part of the figure. 
And shape it up once more in this way. Then take the light color, 
and lay in the reliefs and the backs of the light part of the figure. And 
in this way go back once again to the first dark folds of the figure 
with the dark color. And carry on as you began, with these colors, 
over and over again, first one and then the other, laying them in 
afresh and blending them skilfully, softening delicately. And with 
this’ you have enough time so that you can get up from your work 
and rest yourself for a while, and reflect upon this work of yours. 
Work on panel wants to be done with much enjoyment. 

When you have got it well laid in and these three colors blended, 
make another lighter one out of the lightest, always washing the 
brush between one color and the next; and out of this lighter one 
make another lighter still; and have the variations among them very 
slight. Then touch in with pure white lead, tempered as has been 
said; and touch in with it over the strongest reliefs. And make the 
darks, gradually, in the same way, until you finally touch in the 
strongest darks with pure lac. And bear this in mind: just as you pre- 
pared your colors value by value, so you put them into your little 
dishes value by value, so as not to take one of them for another by 
mistake. 

And use this same system, likewise, for any color which you want 
to paint, whether reds, or whites, or yellows, or greens. But if you 
want to make a lovely violet color, take good choice lac, and good 
choice fine ultramarine blue; and with this mixture and white lead 


4a So R; L has, “that your jobs may touch . . .” 
5 Sc., “As opposed to fresco.” 


DRAPERY AND FLESH ON PANEL 93 


make up your colors, value by value, always tempering them. If you 
wish to do a drapery with blue with lights on it, make it lighter in this 
way with white lead; and execute it in the way described above. 


HOW TO MAKE DRAPERIES IN BLUE AND PURPLE.» 


If you want to do a blue, that is, for a drapery, neither wholly 
modeled with lights nor all just laid in flat,” take some of three or 
four divisions of ultramarine blue:* for you will find various grades of 
it, one lighter than another. And paint according to the lighting of 
the figure, as I have shown you above. And you can work in this way 
on a wall with the tempera mentioned above, in secco. And if you do 
not want to make the outlay for these divisions, you will find grades of 
azurite.* And if you want to brocade® them with gold, you may do 
that too; and touch them in afterward with a little violet in the darks 
of the folds, and a little in the lights, shaping them up nicely, shaping 
up the folds over the gold. And draperies like these will please you 
very much, and particularly for draperies of the Lord God. 

And if you wish to clothe Our Lady with a purple, make the 
drapery white, shaded with a little violet so very light that it is just off 
white. Brocade it’ with fine gold, and then touch it up, and shape up 
the folds over the gold, with a little darker violet; and it is a very 
handsome drapery. 


HOW TO PAINT FACES® 
When you have done the draperies, trees, buildings, and moun- 
tains, and got them painted, you must come to painting the faces; 
and those you should begin in this way. Take a little terre-verte and 
a little white lead, well tempered; and lay two coats all over the face, 
over the hands, over the feet, and over the nudes. But for faces of 
young people with cool flesh color this couch should be tempered, 


Bie Mie GEV Ne 2 See n. 2, p. 37, above. 
3 See Chapter LXII, p. 38, above. 4 See n. I, p. 35, above. 
5 Drapparli. 


© D’una porpora. Porpora may mean “purple,” as I have translated it, conserva- 
tively; it may also mean “a pourpoint”; and it may even apply to the golden orna- 
mentation of the drapery which Cennino goes on to describe (cf. porporina, p. 101, 
below). 

* Drappeggiallo. 8 T., M., CXLVII. 


94 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


the couch, and the flesh colors too, with yolk of a town hen’s egg, be- 
cause those are whiter yolks than the ones which country or farm 
hens produce; those are good, because of their redness, for temper- 
ing flesh colors for aged and swarthy persons. And whereas on a wall 
you make your pinks with cinabrese, bear in mind that on panel 
they should be made with vermilion. And when you are putting on 
the first pinks, do not have it straight vermilion—have a little white 
lead in it. And also put a little white lead into the verdaccio with 
which you shade at first. Just exactly as you work and paint on a wall, 
in just that same method, make three values of flesh color, each lighter 
than the other; laying each flesh color in its place on the areas of the 
face; still do not work up so close to the verdaccio shadows as to cover 
them entirely; but work them out with the darkest flesh color, fusing 
and softening them like a puff of smoke. And bear in mind that the 
panel needs to be laid in more times than a wall; but still not so much 
as not to need to have the green, which lies under the flesh colors, 
always show through a little. When you have got your flesh colors 
down so that the face is about right, make a flesh color a little bit 
lighter, and pick out the forms? of the face, making it gradually 
lighter, in a careful way, until you finally come to touch in with pure 
white lead any little relief more pronounced than the rest, such as 
there would be over the eyebrow, or on the tip of the nose, etc. Then 
outline the upper edge of the eyes with an outline of black, with a few 
lashes® as the eye requires, and the nostrils of the nose. Then take a 
little dark sinoper and a trace of black; and outline all the accents of 
nose, eyes, brows, the hair, hands, feet, and everything in general, as 
I showed you for a wall; always using that yolk-of-egg tempera. 


HOW TO PAINT A DEAD MAN 


We shall next speak about the way to paint a dead man, that is, 
the face, the breast, and wherever in any part the nude may show. 


2 I dossi. Literally, “the backs,” as translated on p. 92, above. It is very tempting to 
interpret 7 dossi as “reflected lights,” as Lady Herringham occasionally does; but that 
would imply a degree of sophistication in the treatment of light and shade which 
Cennino probably did not possess. 

8 Peluzo: literally, “little hair.” See n. 2, p. 89, above. 

1 T., M., CXLVIII. 


STREAMS AND FISH 95 


It is the same on panel as on wall: except that on a wall it is not 
necessary to lay in all over with terre-verte; it is enough if it is laid in 
the transition between the shadows and the flesh colors. But on a 
panel lay it in as usual, as you were taught for a colored or live face; 
and shade it with the same verdaccio, as usual. And do not apply any 
pink at all, because a dead person has no color; but take a little light 
ocher, and step up three values of flesh color with it, just with white 
lead, and tempered as usual; laying each of these flesh colors in its 
place, blending them nicely into each other, both on the face and on 
the body. And likewise, when you have got them almost covered, 
make another still lighter flesh color from this light one, until you get 
the major accents of the reliefs up to straight white lead. And mark 
out all the outlines with dark sinoper and a little black, tempered; 
and this will be called “sanguine.” And manage the hair in the same 
way, but not so that it looks alive, but dead, with several grades of 
verdaccio. And just as I showed you various types and styles for 
beards on the wall, so on panel you do them in the same way; and so 
do every bone of a Christian, or of rational creatures; do them with 
these flesh colors aforesaid. 


HOW TO PAINT WOUNDS. 

To do, that is, to paint, a wounded man, or rather a wound, take 
straight vermilion; get it laid in wherever you want to do blood. Then 
take a little fine lac, well tempered in the usual way, and shade all 
over this blood, either drops or wounds, or whatever it happens to be. 


HOW TO PAINT WATER? 


Whenever you want to do a stream, a river, or any body of water 
you please, either with fish or without, on wall or on panel; on a wall, 
take that same verdaccio which you used for shading the faces on the 
mortar; do the fish, shading with this verdaccio the shadows always 
on their backs; bearing in mind that fish, and in general all irrational 
animals, ought to have the dark part on top and the light underneath. 
Then when you have shaded with verdaccio, put on lights under-- 


1°T., M., CXLIX. MAGI 


96 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


neath, with lime white on the wall; and with white lead on panel. 
And make a few shadows over the fish, and all over the background, 
with the same verdaccio. And if you care to make any outstanding 
fish, lace it with a few spines of gold. Then, in secco, lay verdigris in 
oil uniformly over the whole ground; and work this way also on 
panel. And if you do not want to work in oil, take some terre-verte, 
or malachite, and cover evenly all over; but not so much that the fish 
and waves of water do not still show through; and, if they need it, 
put a few lights on the waves, with lime white on the wall, and tem- 
pered white lead on panel. And let this suffice you for the business of 
painting; and let us get on to the study of embellishing. But let us 
first discuss the mordants. 


A SHORT SECTION ON MORDANT GILDING. 
HOW TO MAKE A STANDARD MORDANT, AND HOW 
TO GILD WITH IT 

There is a mordant which is perfect for wall, for panel, for glass, 
for iron, and for any location; and it is made in this way. You take 
your oil, cooked on the fire or in the sun, cooked as I have shown you 
before; and work up with this oil a little white lead and verdigris; and 
when you have got it worked up like water, put a little varnish into 
it, and let it all boil together for a while. Then take one of your little 
glazed dishes, and put this into it, and let it stand. And when you 
want to use any of it, either for flats or for embellishments, take a 
bit of it in a little dish, and a minever brush made up in the quill of a 
dove’s or chicken’s feather, and make it quite firm and pointed, and 
have the point extend just a little bit outside the quill. Then dip the 
point part way into the mordant, and carry out your embellishments 
and your ornaments. And, as I tell you, never get the brush too full. 
The reason is, that your works will come out for you as fine as hairs, 
and that is the handsomest work. Then do not do any more for a 
while;” then wait from day to day. Then sound out these productions 
with the ring finger of your right hand, that is, with the finger tip; 

LETSRMSIGLI, 


2 Perhaps read sentare with L: “Endeavor to learn more about doing them”; but I 
think that the reading of R, sterzare, is to be preferred. 


MORDANT GILDING 97 


and if you find it a little bit tacky or adhesive, then take the pincers; 
cut a half leaf of fine gold; or alloyed gold, or silver, though these do 
not last; and lay it over this mordant. Press it down with cotton, and 
then, with this finger, gradually stroke up some of this gold, and lay 
it over the mordant which has none. And do not do it with any other 
finger tip, for that is the most sensitive one you have. And see that 
your hands are always clean. And remember that the gold which you 
lay upon mordants, particularly in these delicate works, wants to be 
the most thoroughly beaten gold, and the most fragile, that you can 
secure; for if it is at all stiff you cannot use it so well. When you have 
got it all gilded, you may leave it, if you like, until the next day. And 
then take a feather, and sweep it all over; and if you want to gather 
up the gold which comes off, that is, the “skewings,” keep it, for it is 
useful to goldsmiths, or for your own affairs. Then take some cotton, 
all clean and new, and burnish your gilded ornament to perfection. 


HOW TO CONTROL THE DRYING OF THE MORDANT- 


If you want to have this mordant just described keep for a week 
before it has to be gilded, do not put any verdigris in it. If you want 
it to keep for four days, put in a little verdigris. If you want the mor- 
dant to be good from one evening to the next, put in a lot of verdigris, 
and also a little bit of bole. And if you find that anyone protests to 
you against the verdigris, on the ground that it might eventually cor- 
rupt the gold, just listen patiently; for I have found by experience 
that the gold lasts well. 


HOW TO MAKE A MORDANT OUT OF GARLIC? 


There is another mordant, which is made in this way. Take clean 
garlic bulbs, to the volume of two or three porringers, or one; pound 
them in a mortar, squeeze them through a linen cloth two or three 
times. Take this juice, and work up a little white lead and bole with 


8 So R. L has, si bene che, which suggests that something which followed was 
omitted: “. . . you cannot use it so well as when it is good and thin”; or, “. . . you 
cannot use it so well because the heavier the leaf the more ltkely it is to leave a ragged 
edge, or to refuse entirely to stick to the very fine lines of the ornament’; or something 
of that sort. 

ily Mo Clue 21, M:; CLI: 


98 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


it, as fine as ever you can. Then scrape it up; put it into a little dish; 
cover it, and keep it; for the older and more seasoned it is, the better 
it will be. Do not take small garlic bulbs, nor young ones; get them 
about half grown. And when you want to use any of this mordant, 
put a little of it into a little glazed dish with a small amount of urine, 
and stir it up thoroughly with a straw, according to your judgment, 
so that your brush will run freely enough to permit of handling it 
dexterously and in the way described above.’ You may gild with it 
after half an hour, in the way described above. And this mordant 
possesses this quality, that it will wait for half an hour for you to gild, 
or for an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, or as long as you want. 
Just keep it well covered up, and protect it from dust. This kind of 
mordant would never withstand the water or moisture in churches, 
even if there were brick copings on the wall; but it is quite in place 
on panel or iron, or on anything at all which is going to have to be 
varnished with liquid varnish. And these methods, with these two 
types of mordant, must suffice you. 


INTRODUCTION TO A SHORT SECTION ON VARNISHING.* 


It seems to me that I have had enough to say about the system of 
painting, on wall, in fresco and secco, and on panel. Now we are 
going to get on to the system of painting and gilding and illuminating 
on parchment. But first I should like to look into the process of var- 
nishing a panel or ancona, and any other sort of job, except on a wall. 


WHEN TO VARNISH- 

Know that the secret of the best and most beautiful kind of var- 
nishing is this: that the longer you delay after the painting of the 
panel, the better it is. I say emphatically: if you wait for several years, 
and at the very least for one, your work will come out the fresher. 
The reason is that the painting will automatically achieve the char- 
acter which gold displays, which does not want companionship with 
other metals, and colors certainly display, for when they are in the 

2 The punctuation of the Italian text, I, 93, 1. 28, should be changed to: lavorare et 


per lo sopradetto modo. Passando . . . 
1 T., M., CLIV. Se Mes Clave 


VARNISHING 99 


company of their own temperas they do not want any other admix- 
ture of any other temperas. Varnish is a powerful liquid, and it is 
revealing, and it wants to be obeyed in everything, and it cancels any 
other tempera. And immediately, as you spread it out on your work, 
every color immediately loses some of its resistance, and is obliged to 
yield to the varnish, and never again has the power to go on refresh- 
ing itself with its own tempera. And so it is a good plan to wait as 
long as you can before varnishing; for if you varnish after the colors 
and their temperas have run their course, they then become very 
fresh and beautiful, and remain in pristine state forever. 


HOW TO APPLY THE VARNISH.* 


So then, take your varnish, as liquid and light and clear as you can 
get it. Place your ancona in the sun, and sweep it off; wipe it as clean 
as you can of dust and dirt of any kind. And see to it that the weather 
be not windy, because dust is light, and if ever the wind should blow 
it on to your work you could not get it clean again even by skilful 
treatment. You would be well off in certain fields of grass, or at sea, so 
that dust could not cause you any trouble. When you have warmed 
the panel in the sun, and the varnish too, lay the panel out level, and 
spread this varnish thinly and thoroughly all over it with your hand. 
But take care not to run over on to the gold, for it does not want to 
be associated with varnish or with other liquids. Again, if you do not 
want to work with your hand, take a little piece of nice soft sponge 
dipped in this varnish; and by rolling it over the ancona with your 
hand, varnish methodically; and take away and add as proves neces- 
sary. If you want to have the varnish dry without sun, cook it thor- 
oughly in the first place; for the panel will be very well off not to be 
strained by the sun too severely. 


HOW TO MAKE A PAINTING LOOK AS IF IT 
WERE VARNISHED- 
In order to give one of your works the appearance of being var- 
nished within a short time,’ without actually being so, take some 


1 Included in T., M., CLV. 2T., M., CLVI. 
3 That is, soon after it is painted. 


100 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


white of egg, beaten as thoroughly as possible with the whisk, so that 
it comes out a good solid foam; let it distil for a night. Take the part 
that has distilled, in a little new dish, and lay it all over your works 
with a minever brush; and they will look as if they were varnished, 
and likewise they are stronger. This sort of “varnishing” is well 
adapted to carved figures, either of wood or of stone; and varnish their 
faces, hands, and their flesh colors in this way. And this will have to 
be enough comment upon varnishing; and we will talk about paint- 
ing and illuminating on parchment. 


A SHORT SECTION ON ILLUMINATING: 
FIRST, HOW TO GILD ON PARCHMENT: 

If you want to do illuminating, you must start by drawing the fig- 
ures, foliage ornaments, letters, or whatever you want, with a little 
lead on parchment, that is, in books; then you must crisp up your 
drawing carefully with a pen. Then you will need to have some of a 
color, or rather, a gesso, which is called size, and is made as follows: 
take a little gesso sottile, and a small amount of white lead, less than 
a third as much as of the gesso; then take a little sugar candy,” less 
than the white lead. Grind these things very fine with clear water. 
Then scrape it up; and let it dry without sun. When you want to use 
some for gilding, take a little of it, as much as you need; and temper 
it with white of egg, well beaten as I taught you before. And temper 
this mixture with it. Let it dry. Then take your gold: and you may lay 
it either with breathing or without breathing. And as you lay the gold 
on it, take your crook* and burnishing stone, and burnish it at once; 
and put* a solid little panel of good wood, nicely smoothed, under the 
parchment; and do the burnishing on that. And know that with this 
size you can write letters with a quill, <and do> grounds, or whatever 
you please; for it is most perfect. And before you gild it, see whether 
you need to scrape it, or level it, or clean it up at all, with a knife 

IST Mo GIVE 2 See NED, v. 1. 

3 See n. 2, p. 25, above. Both the curved and pointed crook and the straight-edged 
burnishing stone are useful for gilding on parchment: the former, for getting into the 


angle of the relief, the latter, for burnishing flat over the surface. 
4 Italian text, I, 96,1. 9, read: “e <tient> socto. . . .” 


MOSAIC GOLD IOI 


point; because your little brush sometimes lays more in one place than 
in another. Always look out for this. 


ANOTHER KIND OF SIZE: FOR GROUNDS ONLY. 


If you want another kind of size—but it is not so perfect, though it 
is good for gilding a ground, but not for writing—take gesso sottile,” 
and the third, white lead, and the fourth, Armenian bole, and a little 
sugar. Grind all these things very fine with white of egg. Then lay it 
in as usual. Let it dry. Then scrape and clean up your “gesso” with 
the point of a penknife. Put the little panel, or a good flat stone, 
under the parchment, and burnish it. And if, by chance, it does not 
take a good burnish, wet the gesso when you are gilding, with clear 
water on a little minever brush; and when it is dry, burnish it. 


HOW TO MAKE AND USE MOSAIC GOLD. 


I want to show you about a color of these illuminators, similar to 
gold, which is good on parchment; and it might be used on panel too, 
but be as careful as of fire in using it. Do not let any of this color, 
which is known as mosaic gold, come anywhere near any gold 
ground; for I warn you that if it were on a ground of gilding which 
stretched from here to Rome, and there were as much as half a millet 
seed of quicksilver in it, and this came in contact with that gold 
ground, it would be enough to ruin the whole thing. The best anti- 
dote which you can apply quickly is to make a scratch on the gold 
with the point of a penknife, or a needle; and it will not creep any 
farther. This mosaic gold is made as follows. Take sal ammoniac, tin, 
sulphur, quicksilver, in equal parts; except less of the quicksilver. Put 


1T., M., CLVIII. 2 Sc., as usual, “two parts.” 

8 T., M., CLIX. The color which Cennino calls porporina is more commonly known 
in medieval writings as oro musivo <Latin aurum musaicum, or a. musicum> French, 
or musstf. For the translation “mosaic gold,” see NED, v. 2. That this is the modern 
trade equivalent may be seen from the rule for “Mosaic gold” in The Scientific Ameri- 
can Cyclopedia of Formulas (New York: Munn & Co., 1928), pp. 624, 625. An attempt 
was made by A. Ilg, in his elaborate “Untersuchung uber die urspriingliche Bedeutung 
des Wortes ‘Mosaik,’”’ in Mitteilungen des k.k. Oesterreichischen Museums fiir Kunst 
und Industrie, N.F., V (1890), 161 ff., reprinted in his Beitrége zur Geschichte der 
Kunst und der Kunsttechnik aus mittelhochdeutschen Dichtungen (Vienna, 1896), 
“Excurs,” pp. 168-187, to solve the mystery of the name; but the manufacture, use, 
and nomenclature of this pigment must receive much further study. 


102 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


these ingredients into a flask of iron, copper, or glass. Melt it all on the 
fire, and it is done. Then temper it with white of egg and gum, and 
work with it as you wish. If you do draperies with it, shade either 
with lac or with blue, or with violet,’ always tempering your colors 
with gum arabic for use on parchment. 


HOW TO GRIND GOLD AND SILVER FOR USE AS COLORS.* 


If you want to work with gold on panel, or on parchment, or on 
wall, or anywhere else, but not all solid like a gold ground; or if you 
want to make a tree to look like one of the trees of Paradise, take a 
number of leaves of fine gold according to the work which you want 
to do, or to write, with it; say ten or twenty leaves. Put them on your 
porphyry slab, and work this gold up well with some well-beaten 
white of egg; and then put it into a little glazed dish. Put in enough 
tempera to make it flow from the quill or the brush; and you may do 
any work you want to with it. You may likewise grind it with gum 
arabic, for use on parchment. And if you are doing leaves of trees, mix 
with this gold a little very finely ground green, for the dark leaves. 
And in this way, by mixing it with other colors, you may make shot 
effects to suit yourself. 

By the use of this ground gold, or silver, or alloyed gold, you may 
also lace draperies in the antique style, and make certain embellish- 
ments which are not much practiced by others and do you credit. 
But you yourself must use judgment in learning how to make good 
use of all that I am showing you. 


COLORS FOR USE ON PARCHMENT. 


It is true that you may use on parchment any of the colors which 
you use on panel; but they must be ground very fine. It is likewise 
true that there are certain colors which have no body, known as 


? Biffo: a mixture of lac and blue. See Chapter LXXIII, p. 52, above. 

1T., M., CLX. (T., CLX, is made up of this chapter coupled with another, M., 
CLXXVIII. See I, 97, n. 1.) 

8 M., CLXI. From here on, as far as “well washed and squeezed out,” p. 105, below, 
R is the only source for the text. As R was not consulted by Tambroni, these chapters 
do not appear in his edition, or in translations made from it. (See my edition of the 
Italian text, I, 97, n. 1. An edition of Victor Mottez’ translation was issued with this 
material added by M. Henry Mottez: Le livre de l'art . . . [Paris, 1911].) 


GESSO ON CLOTH 103 


clothlets, and they are made in every color; and it is only necessary 
to take a bit of this clothlet, of any color it may be dyed or colored, put 
it into a little glazed dish, or into a drinking cup; put in some gum; 
and it is ready for use. 

There is also a color made of brazil boiled with lye and rock alum; 
and then, when it is cold, it is ground with quicklime, and makes a 


very lovely pink, and develops a little body. 


A SECTION DEALING WITH WORK ON CLOTH: 
FIRST, PAINTING AND GILDING. 

Now let us speak about how to work on cloth, that is, on linen or 
on silk. And you will adopt this method for cloth: in the first place, 
stretch it taut on a frame, and begin by nailing down the lines of the 
seams. Then go around and around with tacks, to get it stretched out 
evenly and systematically, so that it all has every thread perfectly 
arranged. When you have done this, take gesso sottile and a little 
starch, or a little sugar, and grind these things with the kind of size 
with which you tempered the gesso on panel; grinding them good 
and fine; but first put on an all-over coat of this size without any gesso. 
And it would not matter if the size were not as strong as for gesso. 
Keep it as hot as you can; and, with a blunt soft bristle brush, lay 
some on both sides, if you are going to do painting on each side. 
Then, when it is dry, take the cloth; take a knife blade which is even 
on the edge, and as straight as a ruler; and lay some of this gesso on 
the canvas with this edge, putting it on and taking it off evenly, as if 
you were scraping it down. And the less gesso you leave on, the better 
it is; just so you fill up the interstices between the threads. It will be 
amply sufficient to put on one coat of gesso. When it is dry, take a 
penknife which scrapes well, and look over the cloth to see whether 
there is any node or knot on it, and get rid of it; and then take your 
charcoal. Draw on cloth just the way you draw on panel; and fix it 
with a wash of ink. Then I will teach you, if you wish, how to lay the 
diadems or grounds in gold, burnished as on panel, which, on any 
cloth or silk, are ordinarily laid with a mordant, that is, with the lin- 


1M., CLXII. 2 Zendado. 


104 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


seed one. But, because this method is.a source of wonder among the 
others, since.much <. . .>* done, I will tell you about it. And you may 
roll up and fold the cloth without hurting the gold and the colors. 
First take some of this gesso sottile, and a little bole: and temper this 
gesso with a little white of egg and size, and lay a coat on the part 
which you want to gild. When it is dry, scrape it a little bit; then take 
bole, ground and tempered, just like what you lay on panel, and in the 
same way put on five or six coats of it. Let it stand for a day or so. 
Lay your gold just as you do on panel, and burnish it, holding a very 
smooth and solid board underneath this cloth, keeping a cushion be- 
tween the cloth and the board. And in this way stamp and punch 
these diadems, and they will be just the same as on panel. But you 
must <varnish them» afterward; because sometimes these banners, 
which are made for churches, get carried outdoors in the rain; and 
therefore you must take care to get a good clear varnish, and when 
you varnish the painting, varnish these diadems and gold grounds a 
little, too. 

In the same way as for anconas you should paint, step by step, on 
this cloth; and it is more pleasant to work on it than on panel, because 
the cloth holds the moisture a little; and it is just as if you were work- 
ing in fresco, that is, on a wall. And I will also inform you that, in 
painting, the colors must be laid in many, many times, far more than 
on panel, because the cloth has no body as the ancona has, and it does 
not show up well under varnishing when it is poorly laid in. Temper 
the colors the same as for panel. And I will not enlarge upon this any 
more. 


VARIOUS WAYS TO DO HANGINGS. 


If you have to work on black or blue cloth, as for hangings, stretch 
your cloth as described above. You do not have to apply gesso; you 
cannot draw with charcoal. Take tailors’ chalk, and make little pieces 
of it neatly, just as you do with charcoal; and put them into a goose- 
feather quill, of whatever size is required. Put a little stick into this 
% Sc., perhaps, “cloth has to be gilded, and most people do not know how it should 


be. 
1M., CLXIII. 


EMBROIDERY DESIGNING 105 
quill, and draw lightly. Then fix with tempered white lead. Next, 


lay a coat of that size with which you temper the gessos on anconas or 
on panel. Then lay in as thoroughly as you can, and paint costumes, 
faces, mountains, buildings, and whatever appeals to you; and tem- 
per in the usual way. 

Also, for painting hangings, you may cut white cloth, and put it on 
top of the blue cloth, fastening it on with pastes, like glue; and lay it 
on according to the figures which you wish to distribute over the 
ground; and you may paint with washes of colors, without varnish- 
ing afterward. And you get more done, and cheaply, and they are 
handsome enough at the price. 

Also, on hangings, you may do some foliage decorations with a 
brush, and indigo and pure white lead, on the ground, tempering 
with size; and leave a few pretty areas, among these foliage decora- 
tions, to carry out some little designs in gold done with oil mordants. 


HOW TO DRAW FOR EMBROIDERERS.* 


Again, you sometimes have to supply embroiderers with designs of 
various sorts. And, for this, get these masters to put cloth or fine silk 
on stretchers for you, good and taut. And if it is white cloth, take your 
regular charcoals, and draw whatever you please. Then take your 
pen and your pure ink, and reinforce it, just as you do on panel with 
a brush. Then sweep off your charcoal. Then take a sponge, well 
washed and’ squeezed out in water. Then rub the cloth with it, on the 
reverse, where it has not been drawn on; and go on working the 
sponge until the cloth is damp as far as the figure extends. Then take 
a small, rather blunt, minever brush; dip it in the ink; and after 
squeezing it out well you begin to shade with it in the darkest places, 
coming back and softening gradually. You will find that there will 
not be any cloth so coarse but that, by this method, you will get your 
shadows so soft that it will seem to you miraculous.* And if the cloth 


1 M., CLXIV. 

2 L begins again at this point. See n. 3, p. 102, above. 

8 Designs for gros-point embroidery are still worked out in this way on coarse, open- 
grain canvas, with the colors as even and well blended as on the fine canvas used as a 
foundation for petit-point. 


106 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 
gets dry before you have finished shading, go back with the sponge 


and wet it again as usual. And let this suffice you for work on cloth. 


HOW TO WORK ON SILK, ON BOTH SIDES. 


If you have to do palls or other jobs on silk, first spread them out on 
a stretcher as I taught you for the cloth. And, according to what the 
ground is, take crayons,” either black or white. Do your drawing, and 
fix it either with ink or with tempered color; and if the same scene or 
figure has to be executed on both sides, put the stretcher in the sun, 
with the drawing turned toward the sun, so that it shines through it. 
Stand on the reverse side. With your tempered color, with your fine 
minever brush, go over the shadow which you see made by the draw- 
ing. If you have to draw at night, take a large lamp on the side toward 
your design, and a small lamp on the side which you are drawing, 
that is, on the right side;* thus there might be a lighted taper on the 
side which is drawn on, and a candle on the side which you are draw- 
ing, if there is no sun. And if you have to draw by day, contrive to 
have light from two windows on the side with the drawing, and have 
the light from one little window shine on what you have to draw. 

Then size with the usual size wherever you have to paint or gild; 
and mix a little white of egg with this size, say one white of egg to 
four goblets or glasses of size. And when you have got it sized, if 
you want to lay any diadem or ground in burnished gold, to bring 
you great honor and reputation, take gesso sottile and a little Ar- 
menian bole, ground very fine together, and a little bit of sugar. Then, 
with the usual size and a very little white of egg, mixed with a small 
amount of white lead, you put on two coats of it thinly wherever you 
wish to gild. Then apply your bole just as you apply it on panel. Then 


lay your gold with clear water, mixing with it a little of the tempera 


1M., CLXV. 2 Charboni: literally, “coals.” 

8 Cioe all’avenante. The Milanesi follow R, and read: Ciò é a lavorare; but all’ave- 
nante, with L, should be preferred. Averante (modern Italian, avvenente) means 
“neat,” “sightly”; and makes clear an important point in Cennino’s procedure. When 
both sides of a cloth are to be decorated, the drawing is worked out first on the 
“wrong” side, and traced through to the “neat” side, the avenante, the “right” side, all 
uncertainty being thus eliminated from its execution. 


GILDING ON CLOTH 107 


for the bole; and burnish it over a good smooth slab, or a good sound, 
smooth board. And stamp and punch it likewise over this board. 

Furthermore, you may paint any subject in the usual way, temper- 
ing the colors with yolk of egg, laying the colors in six or eight times, 
or ten, out of regard for the varnishing; and then you may gild the 
diadems or grounds with oil mordants; and the embellishments with 
garlic mordants, varnishing afterward, but preferably with oil mor- 
dants. And let this serve for ensigns, banners and all. 


HOW TO PAINT AND GILD ON VELVET. 


If you have to work on velvets, or to design for embroiderers, draw 
your works with a pen, with either ink or tempered white lead. If 
you have to paint or gild anything, take size as usual, and an equal 
amount of white of egg, and a little white lead; and with a bristle 
brush put it on the pile,” and beat it down hard, and press it down 
thoroughly flat. Paint and lay gold in the way described, but just mor- 
dant gilding. But it will be less trouble for you to work each thing out 
on white silk, cutting out the figures or whatever else you do, and 
have the embroiderers fasten them on your velvet.’ 


HOW TO LAY GOLD AND SILVER ON WOOLEN CLOTH.‘ 


If you happen to have to work on woolen cloth, on account of 
tourneys or jousts, for gentlemen or great lords sometimes teem with 
desire for distinctive things, and want their arms in gold or silver 
on this sort of cloth: first, according to the color of the stuff or cloth, 
select the crayon’ which it requires for drawing; and fix it with a pen, 
just as you did on the velvet. Then take white of egg, well beaten as 
I taught you before, and an equal amount of size, in the usual way; 


1M., CLXVI. 2 Pelo. See n. 2, p. 89, above. 

3 Another practice for gilding on velvet may be noted here, though I have no evi- 
dence as to its antiquity. Finely powdered gamboge may be dusted over the velvet, a 
leaf of gold applied, and the elements of the pattern pressed in with metal dies suffi- 
ciently heated to fuse the resin, much as leather is gilded with albumen. This is in many 
ways superior to Cennino’s process, when gold alone is to be applied. If both gilding 
and painting are called for, however, the velvet should be prepared uniformly for both, 
as Cennino describes. 

4M., CLXVII. 5 Charbone. See n. 2, p. 106, above. 


108 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


and put it on the nap* of this cloth, on the part where you have to do 
gilding. Then when it is dry take a crook, and burnish over this cloth; 
then apply two more coats of this tempera. When it is quite dry, apply 
your mordant so as not to go outside the tempered part, and lay what- 
ever gold or silver you think fit. 


HOW TO MAKE DEVICES OUT OF GILDED PAPER 


Now and then, for these tourneys and jousts, devices are made on 
the covered horses and on the uniforms, modeled, and sewn on these 
productions. So I will show you how to make them out of paper. And 
these papers are laid first, the whole sheet of paper, either with bur- 
nished gold or silver. And it is done in this way: grind a little ocher, 
some tailors’ chalk, and a bit of Armenian bole as fine as ever you 
can. Temper them together with size which is practically plain water, 
so that it is not at all strong, but has little substance or worth; and, 
with a soft bristle brush, or with a minever brush, lay one coat of it all 
over the sheets of paper, fit for writing, but not written on. And when 
they are dry, go back, and wet a section with a minever brush, and 
gild that section in the same way and system as you lay gold on the 
bole on panel; and when you have got the whole sheet laid, watch for 
the time to burnish it. Take a good flat slab, or a good smooth, hard 
board, and burnish your sheets over that; and set them aside. And out 
of these sheets you may make animals, flowers, roses, and devices of 
many sorts, and it will win you much renown; and you do it quickly 
and well. And you may embellish them with a little coloring in oil. 


HOW TO MODEL CRESTS OR HELMETS: 


Whenever you have occasion to make a crest or helmet for a tour- 
ney, or for rulers who have to march in state, you must first get some 
white leather which is not dressed except with myrtle or czefalonia;* 
stretch it, and draw your crest the way you want it made. And draw 


8 Pelo. See n. 2, p. 89, above. Here probably the “nap” which results from shearing, 
rather than “pile” proper. 

1M., CLXVIII. 2M., CLXIX. 

4 This material cannot yet be identified certainly. A. Ilg, Das Buch von der Kunst 
(Vienna, 1871), p. 177, suggests “die sogenannten Eckerdoppen,” known also as 
“Valonia, welcher aus Ciefalonia erkurzt scheint.” 


CASKETS OR CHESTS 109 


two of them, and sew them together; but leave it open enough on one 
side so that you can put sand into it; and press it with a little stick 
until it is all quite full. When you have done this, put it in the sun for 
several days. When it is quite dry, take the sand out of it. Then take 
some of the regular size for gessoing, and size it two or three times. 
Then take some gesso grosso ground with size, and mix in some 
beaten tow, and get it stiff, like a batter; and put on this gesso, and 
rough it in, giving it any shape of man, or beast, or bird, which you 
may have to make, getting it as like as you can. This done, take some 
gesso grosso ground with size, liquid and flowing, on a brush, and 
you lay it three or four times over this crest with a brush. Then, when 
it is quite dry, scrape it and smooth it down, just as you do when you 
work on panel. Then, in the same way, as I showed you how to gesso 
with gesso sottile on panel, in that same way gesso this crest. When it 
is dry, scrape it and smooth it down; and then if it is necessary to 
make the eyes of glass, put them in with the gesso for modeling;* do 
modeling if it is called for. Then, if it is to be gold or silver, lay some 
bole, just as on panel; and follow the same method in every detail, and 
the same for the painting, varnishing it in the usual way. 


HOW TO DO CASKETS OR CHESTS. 

In executing caskets or chests, if you want to do them royally, gesso 
them, and follow all the methods which you follow in working on 
panel, for gilding and for painting and for stamping, embellishing 
and for varnishing, without obliging me to tell you about each step. 

If you want to execute other caskets of less worth, size them first, 
and lay cloth over the cracks, and you do that with the previous ones 
as well. But you may just gesso these at first with the slice and brush 
with well-sifted ashes and the usual size. When they are gessoed and 
dry, smooth them down; and, if you care to, gesso them afterward 
with gesso sottile, if you wish. If you want to embellish them with 
any figures or other devices made of tin, follow this method :* 

Get a soft stone, flat and fine grained, and engrave the surface of 


8 See Chapter CXVIIII, p. 73, above. 1M., CLXX. 
2 It is the ingenious method which follows here, rather than the mere substitution 
of ashes for gesso, that makes these caskets less costly. Tin, white or golden, takes the 


110 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


this stone, or get it engraved for you; and the slightest hollow is 
enough. Have engraved upon it figures, animals, devices—flowers, 
stars, roses, and any kind your mind desires. Then take some tin foil, 
either yellow or white, in several thicknesses; and lay it over the im- 
pression which you wish to take. Then have a sort of wad of soaked 
tow, well squeezed out; and lay it over this tin. And in your other 
hand take a willow mallet, not too heavy, and pound this tow, shift- 
ing it and turning it about with your other hand. And when you have 
pounded it thoroughly, so that you see every incision show up clearly, 
take gesso grosso ground rather stiff with size, and put some of it 
over this tin foil with a slice. When you have done this, take a pen- 
knife, and, with the tip of it, pick out the top piece of tin, and pry it 
loose, and lift it off. Then come back with your gesso and your slice, 
as before: pick out and separate this piece of tin in the same way. 
Make enough of them in this fashion to give you an abundant supply, 
and set them out to dry. When they are dry, take a good sharp knife 
point, and put this tin on a good flat board of nut wood, piece by 
piece, and cut away all the tin which comes outside the outline of your 
figure. And in this way make any amount you wish. 

When you have got your caskets gessoed systematically and laid 
in with any color you wish, take some of the usual size, and even 
stronger, and moisten the gesso of your figures or devices thoroughly, 
and immediately stick them on; and arrange them on the ground of 
your casket, and outline and apply a little coloring with a minever 
brush. Then varnish this ground. When it is dry, take a beaten white 
of egg, and rub over the varnished part with a sponge moistened in 
this white; and then, with other colors, hatch and embellish the 
ground, using any color you wish which differs distinctly from the 
ground. And I will not stop to say any more about this, for, if you 
are really expert and accomplished in great things, you will be able to 
manage small ones all right. Showing you, in the next place, how to 
work on glass. 


place of silver or gold, and its use obviates the necessity of putting on a fine gesso sur- 
face, and permits the omission of several operations required for the application of 
leaf metal. 


DESIGNING STAINED GLASS III 


A SHORT SECTION ON OPERATIONS WITH GLASS: 
FIRST, FOR WINDOWS. 

There are two processes for working on glass: that is, windows, 
and pieces of glass which are set in little anconas, or in embellish- 
ments for reliquaries. But we shall first discuss the method for win- 
dows. It is true that this occupation is not much practiced by our 
profession, and is practiced more by those who make a business of it. 
And ordinarily those masters who do the work possess more skill than 
draftsmanship, and they are almost forced to turn, for help on the 
drawing, to someone who possesses finished craftsmanship, that is, 
to one of all-round, good ability. And therefore, when they turn to 
you, you will adopt this method. He will come to you with the meas- 
urements of his window, the width and length: you will take as many 
sheets of paper glued together as you need for your window; and you 
will draw your figure first with charcoal, then fix it with ink, with 
your figure completely shaded, exactly as you draw on panel. Then 
your glass master takes this drawing, and spreads it out on a large 
flat bench or table; and proceeds to cut his glasses, a section at a 
time, according to the way he wants the costumes of the figure 
painted. And he gives you a color which he makes from well-ground 
copper filings; and with this color, on the point of a minever brush, 
you shape up your shadows gradually, matching up the arrangement 
of the folds and the other details of the figure, on one piece of glass 
after another, just as the master has cut them and put them together; 
and you may shade any glass, indifferently, with this color. Then the 
master, before he fastens one piece to another, according to their prac- 
tice, fires it moderately in iron cases with his ashes; and then he fastens 
them together. 

You may execute silk stuffs, upon these glasses, sprig and hatch 
and do lettering, that is, by laying in with this color, and then scrap- 
ing through, just as you do on panel.’ You have one advantage: that 
you do not need to lay any other ground, because you can get glass in 
all colors. 

And if you happen to have any very small figures to do, or arms or 


LIMETGLASIE 2 See p. 87, above. 
P 


112 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


devices so tiny that the glasses could not be cut to shape, after you have 
shaded with the aforesaid color you may paint any costumes, and 
mark out with oil paint. And this need not be fired again, nor should 
that be done, for you would not accomplish anything. Just let it dry in 
the sun, as it will. 


HOW TO GILD GLASS FOR RELIQUARY ORNAMENTS." 

There is another process for working on glass, indescribably attrac- 
tive, fine and unusual, and this is a branch of great piety, for the 
embellishment of holy reliquaries; and it calls for sure and ready 
draftsmanship. This process is carried out as follows. Take a piece of 
white glass, with no green cast, very clean, free from bubbles; and 
wash it, rubbing it down with lye and charcoal. And rinse it with 
good clear water, and let it dry by itself. But before you wash it, cut 
it to the size you want. Then take the white of a fresh egg; beat it 
with a good clean whisk just as you do that for gilding, so that it is 
thoroughly beaten; and let it distil overnight. Then take a minever 
brush, and with this brush wet the back of the glass with this glair; 
and when it is thoroughly wet all over, take a leaf of the gold, which 
should be quite heavy gold, that is, dull;? put it on the paper tip, and 
lay it deftly on the glass where you have wet it; and press it down 
with a little very clean cotton, gently, so that the glair does not get on 
top of the gold; and lay the whole glass in this way. Let it dry with- 
out sun for the space of some days. 


ARRANGEMENTS FOR DRAWING ON THIS GLASS.* 

When it is all dry, get a nice flat little panel, covered with black 
cloth or silk; and have a little study of your own, where no one will 
cause you any sort of interruption, and which has just one cloth- 
covered window; and you will put your table in this window, as if 
for writing, so arranged that the window shines over your head when 
you have your face turned toward this window. With your glass laid 
out on this black cloth: 


1M., CLXXII. 2 See Chapter CXXXVIIII, pp. 84, 85, above. 
3 Included in M., CLXXII. 





A DiprycH wiTH PaNELS oF GILDED AND PAINTED GLASS. 


Lonpon. 


vs) 


FROM THE COLLECTION oF HENRY OPPENHEIMER, Eso 


II12-II4 


, See pp 


20.3 X 24.1 cmm 





DRAWING ON GILDED GLASS 113 
HOW TO DRAW ON THE GILDED GLASS. 


Take a needle, fastened in a little stick as if it were a little brush, 
and have it quite sharp pointed. And, with the name of God, begin 
to draw lightly with this needle whatever figure you wish to make. 
And have this first drawing show very little, for it can never be erased; 
and therefore work lightly until you get your drawing settled; then 
proceed to work as if you were sketching with a pen, for this work 
has to be done freehand. And do you want to be convinced that you 
need to have a light hand, and that it should not be tired ?>—<Know> 
that the strongest shadow you can make consists in penetrating to 
the glass with the point of the needle, and no more; that the inter- 
mediate shadow consists in not piercing through the gold all over; 
that it is as delicate as that, and you must not work with haste— 
rather with great enjoyment and pleasure. And I give you this advice, 
that the day before the day you want to work at this job, you hold 
your hand to your neck, or in your bosom, so as to get it all unbur- 
dened of blood and weariness. 


HOW TO SCRAPE THE GOLD OFF THE BACKGROUNDS.” 

When you have got your drawing finished, and you want to scrape 
away certain grounds, which generally want to be put in with ultra- 
marine blue in oil, take a leaden style, and rub the gold, which it 
takes off for you neatly; and work carefully around the outlines of 
the figure. When you have done this: 


HOW TO BACK UP THE DRAWING WITH COLORS? 
Take various colors ground in oil, such as ultramarine blue, black, 
verdigris, and lac; and if you want any drapery or lining to glisten 
<in lines of gold> on green,* apply green; if you want it on lac, apply 





1 Included in M., CLXXII. 2 Included in M., CLXXII. 

8 Included in M., CLXXII. 

4 In this system of modeling, the lights are formed uniformly by the gold; the darks, 
by the backing-up color; and the half tones, as Cennino implies in the paragraph on 
drawing, by lines of gold left to glisten on the colored ground. The survival of this 
practice, in window lettering, mirror ornaments, etc., is familiar to everyone. Indeed, 
few processes in the arts have a longer history of usefulness than this of gilding on 
glass and scratching in designs. 


114 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


lac; if you want it on black, apply black. But the black is the most 
striking of all, for it shows up the figures better than any other color. 


PART OF A SECTION DEALING WITH MOSAIC: 
FIRST, A FRAGMENT FROM THE END OF A CHAPTER 
OTHERWISE LOST. 


. . . your little figures, and tamp them down with something flat, 
and press them into the gesso, so that the work comes out quite flat. 
And execute your work in this way. 


MOSAIC OF QUILL CUTTINGS? 


For this same work quills of feathers are very nice, cut up very 
small, and stained as I have related.* 


1 Included in M., CLXXII. Part of the text is clearly missing here: how much, or of 
what nature, we can only surmise. 

The directions which follow suggest that a number of small objects were involved, 
requiring care to keep the surface flat. This is borne out by the next paragraph, which 
recommends stained cuttings of quills “for this same work”; and the next, which calls 
for crushed eggshells, “per lavorare del detto musaicho,” suggests that these small 
objects may have been tesserae for mosaic. A little later, Cennino speaks of laying in 
with gilded or silvered paper, or gold or silver foil, “to lay in these figures as you do 
on a wall”; from which we may conclude that the Libro dell’ Arte originally dealt with 
monumental mosaic and the use of gilded tesserae. Altogether the internal evidence of 
these passages points to the loss of a section on mosaic techniques to which the brief 
articles here preserved were merely supplementary. Externally, Vasari, in his life of 
Agnolo Gaddi, states that Cennino’s work included an account of painting in mosaic. 

The occurrence of these isolated sentences on mosaic at the end of the chapters on 
gilded glass deceived the Milanesi. Not recognizing their fragmentary nature, they 
identified them with the preceding material, and headed their chapter, CLXXII, “Come 
si lavora in opera musaica per adornamento di reliquie. . . .” This error—for the work 
on gilded glass is nowhere called “mosaic” by Cennino—later misled Albert Ilg, in 
spite of his own close acquaintance with Cennino’s work. Ilg saw, as he supposed, in 
that chapter, but actually only in the Milanesi’s heading, support for his theory that 
the word “mosaic” “a priori mit unserem heutigen Begriff ‘Mosaik’ (Zusammenset- 
zung) gar nichts zu tun hatte, sondern lediglich jene eigentiimliche Art Vergoldung 
bedeutete, welche zur Herstellung der kunstgeschichtlich wichtigsten Gattung Mosai- 
ken erforderlich ist, wie sie vorher schon zur Anfertigung der altchristlichen Glasge- 
fasse diente.” (See his “Untersuchung tiber . . . ‘Mosaik,’” art. cit. p. 101, supra, 
p- 174.) He states further (zd., p. 178), with unconscious irony, that “Cennino . . . 
nennt opera musaica hochst interessanter Weise eine Technik, welche mit unserem 
‘Mosaik’ ausser der Anbringung des Goldes auf’s Glas absolut nichts gemein hat.” It 
was, as we have seen, the Milanesi, and not Cennino at all, who called this process 
“opera musaica.” 

2 Included in M., CLXXII. 

3 In one of the missing chapters, of course. 


MOSAIC AND BLOCK PRINTING 115 


MOSAIC OF CRUSHED EGGSHELLS, PAINTED. 

You may likewise work at this mosaic in this way. Take your plain 
white crushed eggshells, and lay them in over the figure which you 
have drawn; fill in and work as if they were colored. And then, when 
you have laid in your figure, you set to painting it, section by section, 
with the regular colors from the little chest,” and tempered with a 
little white of egg, just as you would do on the regular gessoed one,’ 
just using a wash of the colors. And then, when it is dry, varnish, just 
as you varnish the other things on panel. 


MOSAIC OF PAPER OR FOIL.* 

To lay in these figures as you do on a wall,’ you must adopt this 
expedient: take little leaves of gilded or silvered paper, or thick gold 
or silver foil. Cut it up very small, and lay in with these tweezers, the 
way you laid in your crushed shells, wherever the ground calls for 


gold.* 


MOSAIC OF EGGSHELLS, GILDED. 

Likewise, lay the ground with white shells; wet it with beaten 
white of egg; wet it with the same as that with which you gild on 
glass; lay your gold while the ground still draws; let it dry, and bur- 
nish with cotton. And this must suffice for this mosaic or Greek work. 


A SECTION DEALING WITH MISCELLANEOUS 
INCIDENTAL OPERATIONS: 
FIRST, BLOCK PRINTING ON CLOTH. 


Inasmuch as the execution of certain products painted on linen 
cloth, which are good for garments for little boys or children,® and 
1 Included in M., CLXXII. 2 See the end of Chapter XXXVI, p. 22, above. 


8 This whole paragraph evidently represents a mere variant of a process previously 
given in detail in a lost chapter. 


4 Included in M., CLXXII. 5 See n. I, p. 114, above. 
8 Sc., “or silver.” 7 Included in M., CLXXII. 
8 M., CLXXIII. 


8 Their elders, no doubt, wore stuffs in which the figures were integrally woven. 
The process here described is clearly intended to produce imitations of damask or 
brocade effects, as could be done by block printing at vastly less expense than on the 
loom. 


116 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


for certain church lecterns, still has to do with the profession of the 
brush, the way to do them is this. 

Take a stretcher made as if it were a cloth-covered window, four 
feet long, two feet wide, with linen or heavy cloth nailed on the slats. 
When you want to paint your linen, roll up a quantity of four or 
fourteen yards all together, and lay the heading of this cloth over the 
stretcher. And take a block of either nut or pear, as long as it is good 
strong wood, and have it about the size of a tile or a brick; and have 
this block drawn upon and hollowed out a good line deep; and on it 
should be drawn whatever style of silk cloth you wish, either leaves 
or animals. And have it so divided in shape and so drawn that all 
four faces will come out in a repeat, and make a finished and unified 
job. And on the other side, which is not engraved, it should have a 
handle, so that you can lift it and apply it. When you are going to 
work: 

Have a glove on your left hand; and first grind some vine-sprig 
black, ground very fine with water, then thoroughly dried either by 
sun or fire, then ground again, dry; and mix it with as much liquid 
varnish as may be required;* and take up some of this black with a 
little trowel, and spread it out on the palm of your hand, that is, on 
the glove. And thus you ink up* the block with it where it has been 
engraved, neatly, so that the incision does not get choked up. Set to 
work, and place it systematically and evenly upon the cloth spread 
out on the stretcher. And underneath the stretcher take a porringer 
in your right hand, or a little wooden porringer, and, with the back, 
rub hard over the space occupied by the incised block; and when you 
have rubbed until you think that the color has penetrated the cloth or 
linen thoroughly, lift your block, put color on it over again, and re- 
place it very systematically, in this way, until you finally get the whole 
cloth done. 

This work needs to be embellished with other coloring laid in here 
and there, to make it look more showy; for this you ought to have 
colors without body, namely, yellow, red, and green. The yellow: take 
some saffron, warm it well at the fire, temper it with good strong 


8 Possibly, “varnish enough to make it workable.” 
4 Va’ tmbrattando: literally, “muck.” 


COLORED PRINTING INKS 117 


lye. Then take a rather blunt bristle brush. Spread out the painted 
cloth on a bench or table, and set out, with this yellow, animals or 
figures or foliage ornaments, as you think best. Next take some brazil- 
wood, scraped with glass; put it to soak in lye; boil it up with a little 
rock alum; boil it for a while, until you see that it has acquired its 
full crimson’ color. Take it off the fire, so that it does not spoil; then 
set it out with this brush, just as you did the yellow. Then take some 
verdigris, ground with vinegar, and a little saffron, tempered with a 
little weakish size. Set it out with this brush, just as you have done 
the other colors; and have them so set out that each animal appears in 
yellow, red, green, and white. 

Furthermore, for executing this work it is good to burn linseed oil, 
as I have shown you before; and temper some of that black, which is 
very fine, with liquid varnish; and it is a very perfect and fine black; 
but it is more expensive. 

This process? is good for working on green cloth, and red, black, 
and yellow, and blue or pale blue. If it is green, you may work on 
it in red lead or vermilion. After grinding it very fine with water dry 
it well; powder it up, and temper it with liquid varnish. Put some of 
this color on the glove, just as you did with the black, and work in the 
same way. 

If it is red cloth, take some indigo and white lead. After grinding it 
fine with water, drain it and dry it in the sun; then powder it up; 
temper it with liquid varnish as usual; and work the way you do with 
black. 

If the cloth is black, you may work on it in quite a light blue, that 
is, a good deal of white lead and a little indigo, mixed, ground and 
tempered according to the practice which I have given you for the 
other colors. 

If the cloth is light blue, take some white lead, ground and dried 
off and tempered like the other colors. And in general, as you find 
the grounds, so you can find other colors differing from them, lighter 
and darker, as it seems to you may suit your fancy. For one thing 
will teach you another, both by experience and by theoretical under- 





5 Vermiglio. See n. 6, p. 39, above. 
$ For MS A2 predetto (my Italian text, I, 111, 1. 10) read I? predetto. 


118 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


standing. The reason is that every profession is fundamentally skilled 
and pleasant: God helps those who help themselves,’ and contrari- 
wise the same. 


HOW TO GILD A STONE FIGURE.» 


A man in one profession may happen to understand working per- 
fectly at all kinds of things, and especially at things which may bring 
him reputation; and therefore, not because it is usual, but because I 
have relished it, for that reason, I will explain it to you. Into your 
hands comes a stone figure, large or small; you wish to lay it in bur- 
nished gold. For this you follow this method: sweep and clean your 
figure up nicely; then take some of the usual size, that is, of the 
strength with which you gesso anconas; and get it boiling hot. And 
when it is boiling so, put a coat or two of it over this figure, and let 
it dry out well. 

After this, take pieces of oak or male-oak charcoal, and pound 
them; and take a tamis, and sift the dust out of this charcoal with it. 
Then take a sieve fine enough for grain such as millet to go through, 
and sift this charcoal, and put the siftings aside; and make enough 
of them in this way to serve your purpose. When this is done, take 
linseed oil, cooked and brought to the perfect condition for making a 
mordant, and mix a third of liquid varnish with it. Boil it all together 
thoroughly. 

When it is quite hot, take a dish; put the siftings of the charcoal 
into it. After this, put in this mordant: mix it up well, and apply it 
with a good-sized bristle or minever brush evenly to every part, and 
all over the figure or other job. When you have done so, put it some- 
where to dry thoroughly in the wind or sun, as you please. 

When your figure is good and dry, take a little of this same size. Put 
into it, if there is one glassful of it,” one yolk of egg. Mix it up well; 
and, while quite hot, take a bit of sponge; soak it in this tempera, and, 
with the sponge not too full, wipe and rub over every place to which 


7 Chi ne piglia, se n'a. 1M., CLXXIV. 

2 From here to “You will run into people,” p. 122, below, the text is based on R only, 
owing to a lacuna in L. See my Italian text, I, 112, n. 5; also, I, Preface, p. xii, and 
p. 100, n. 5. (I, 112, l. 26 should be punctuated as follows: insieme; e, ben chaldo, 
aubrey) 


WATERPROOFING 119 


you applied the mordant and the charcoal. In explanation of the 
purpose of applying this mordant, the reason is this: that stone always 
holds moisture, and when gesso tempered with size becomes aware 
of it, it promptly rots and comes away and is spoiled: and so the oil 
and varnish are the instruments and means of uniting the gesso with 
the stone, and I explain it to you on that account. The charcoal always 
keeps dry of the moisture of the stone. 

Then, when you wish to go on with your work, take gesso grosso 
and size, tempered in the same way you gesso the flat of a panel or 
ancona, except that I want you to put in, according to the quantity, 
one or two or three egg yolks; and then lay it over the job with a 
slice; and if you mix up with these things a little dust of pounded 
bricks it will be so much the better. And apply this gesso two or three 
times with a slice, and let it dry out thoroughly. 

When it is perfectly dry, scrape it and clean it up, just as you do on 
panel or ancona. Then take gesso sottile or gilders’ gesso,* and tem- 
per and grind this gesso with the same size, just as you do for gesso 
on panel, except that you must put in a certain amount of egg yolk, 
not so much as you put into the gesso grosso: and begin by putting 
the first coat of it on the job, rubbing it down with your hand very 
perfectly. From this coat on, lay the gesso with a brush, four or six 
coats, just the way you apply gesso on panel, with that same method 
and diligence. When this is done, and quite dry, scrape it down nicely; 
then lay it with tempered bole as you do on panel; and follow the 
same course and method in gilding, and burnishing with stone or 
crook. And it is as splendid a branch of this profession as there can 
possibly be. And if you ever have a case in which work gilded in this 
way has to risk injury from water, you may varnish it; but it is not 
so handsome, though very much stronger. 


THE DANGERS OF A WET WALL FOR FRESCO. 


In connection with this kind of work, it is sometimes necessary to 


8 Gesso sottile o vuoi da oro. Gesso d’oro signifies in modern Italian “gilders’ whit- 
ing,” a fine grade of levigated chalk. (See F. W. Weber, Artists’ Pigments . . . [New 
York: van Nostrand, 1923], pp. 125, 126.) Gesso da oro here may mean the same 
material, a substitute for the more costly gesso sottile. 

1 M., CLXXV. 


120 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


take steps for jobs to be done on damp walls: so it behooves you to 
prepare yourself with judgment and sound practice. 

Know that moisture has the effect on the wall that oil has on panel; 
and just as moisture mars the lime mortar, so oil mars the gesso and 
its temperas: and so it is important to know how this moisture can 
come to work great damage, since I have told you above that the 
noblest and strongest tempering which can be done upon a wall con- 
sists in working in fresco, that is, on the fresh mortar. And know that 
no matter how much water ever rained upon the front surface of the 
wall, it could never do any harm at all; but it is that which rains on 
the back of the wall, on the other surface, which does great damage; 
and even the slightest drop which falls on the top of the wall, in the 
open. And so steps must be taken against this, as follows. 


PRELIMINARY PRECAUTIONS AGAINST MOISTURE.* 


First look over the place where you are working, and see how sound 
the wall is, and how it is coped; and have it coped with the utmost 
perfection. And if it is in a place where any water runs through a 
drain which cannot reasonably be shifted, use the following method: 


WATERPROOFING WITH BOILED OIL. 


Regardless of the stone the wall is made of, take linseed oil cooked 
as if for a mordant, and temper pounded brick with it, and wet it up. 
But first apply some of this oil or mordant to the wall, boiling hot, 
with a brush or swab. After that, take some of this mixture of pounded 
brick, and apply it to the wall so that it comes out quite rough. Let it 
dry for a month or so, until it gets thoroughly dry. Then, with a 
trowel, take some good fresh slaked lime;* equal parts of lime and 
coarse sand; and, mixing with it some sifted powder of pounded 
brick, plaster it thoroughly once or twice, leaving the plaster quite 
rough and uneven. Then, when you wish to paint and work on it, 


1 Included in M., CLXXV. 2 Included in M., CLXXV. 

8 Calcina di galla is simply slaked lime, not, as Ilg translates, “mit Gallapfeln 
bereiteten Kalk.” Lady Herringham’s “lime prepared with gall nuts’ follows Ilg; 
Mottez and Verkade translate it correctly. See Vocabolario . . . della Crusca, s.v. 
“calcina.” 


DISTEMPERING WALLS I2I 


lay up your thin finish coat, just as I showed you how before, for 
work on the wall. 


WATERPROOFING WITH PITCH. 

For this same purpose: first take some of this ship pitch, and apply 
it and smear” the wall with it, boiling hot. When you have done this, 
take some of the same pitch or tar; and take good dry or brand-new 
brick, pounded up. Pound it up thoroughly, and work a certain 
amount of it into this pitch. Apply it all over the wall, that is, as far 
as the dampness extends, and farther. And it is a very perfect plaster. 
And rough-coat with lime mortar, as I have shown you and told you 
above. 


WATERPROOFING WITH LIQUID VARNISH? 

Again, for the same: get a quantity of liquid varnish boiling hot, 
and applying it to the surface of the damp wall at first, and in the 
same way applying some of the pounded brick mixed with the afore- 
said varnish, makes a very perfect and good remedy. 


HOW TO DISTEMPER INSIDE WALLS WITH GREEN.* 

You sometimes work in rooms, or under porches or galleries, which 
are not always carried out in fresco, because you find them already 
plastered. And you want to work in green: for this, take some terre- 
verte, well ground, and tempered with gesso size, not too strong, and 
apply two or three coats of it to the whole ground, with a large bristle 
brush. When you have done this, and it is dry, draw with charcoal 
the way you do on panel, and fix your scenes with ink, or with black 
color, that is, vine charcoal well worked up and tempered with egg, 
or even yolk of egg and the white together. And having dusted off the 
charcoal, take some water in a porringer, or a large basin, or a Tuscan 
gill; after this, put in as much as a spoonful of honey, and beat it all 
up thoroughly. Having done this, take a sponge, and plunge it into 
this water; squeeze it out a little, and run it over the ground laid in 
green. Then with a wash of black apply your shadows, very delicate 


1M., CLXXVI. 2 Imbratta: literally, “muck.” 
3 Included in M., CLXXVI. 4M., CLXXVII. 


122 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


and soft and blended. Then take white lead ground and tempered 
with this egg tempera mentioned above, and put the lights on your 
figures as required by your professional system. 

You may put a little coloring on these figures which differs from 
the green, say with ocher, cinabrese, and orpiment; and embellish any 
little ornaments, and likewise put in grounds with blue. And know 
that you may also execute this sort of work in green on panel; and 
likewise on a wall in fresco, plastering, and laying in with this terre- 
verte: it is true that the lights should be put on with lime white. 


HOW TO VARNISH TERRE-VERTE.* 


You will run into people? who will have you work on panel in 
greens, and want you to varnish it. I tell you that it is not the custom, 
and terre-verte does not call for it; but all the same they have to be 
satisfied. Now follow this method: 

Take scrapings of sheep parchment; boil them well with clear 
water, until it becomes a regular tempera, that is, a size. With a large 
minever brush put two or three coats of this size nicely and lightly on 
to your figures or scenes, uniformly all over whatever you have to var- 
nish. When you have applied this size, all clear and clean, and strained 
well twice, let your work dry out for the space of three or four days. 
Then varnish all over with your varnish confidently, for you will find 
that the terre-verte will take the varnish just as the other colors will. 


HOW TO CLEAN OFF THE PAINT AFTER YOU HAVE 
MADE UP A FACE; 

In the exercise of the profession, you will sometimes have to stain 
or paint on flesh, chiefly to paint the face of a man or woman. You 
may have your colors tempered with egg; or, for making up, with 
oil, or with liquid varnish, which is the strongest tempera of all. But 
if you want to wash this color or tempera off the face afterward, take 
egg yolks; rub them on the face gradually, and chafe it with your 


1 M., CLXXVIII; included in T., CLX. 
2 The text is resumed in L again at this point. See n. 2, p. 118, above. 
STI CIA: ME CIONI 


COSMETICS 123 


hand. Then take hot water, boiled with bran or husks,” and wash his 
face. And then take another egg yolk, and again chafe his face, then 
taking hot water in the same way, and washing his face again. Do this 
over and over until the face comes out in its original color. Saying no 
more about this subject: 


THE PERILS OF INDULGENCE IN COSMETICS? 

You would have occasion, in the service of young ladies, especially 
those of Tuscany,* to display certain colors to which they take a fancy. 
And they are in the habit of beautifying themselves with certain wa- 
ters. But since the Paduan women do not do so; and so as not to give 
them occasion to reproach me; and likewise because it is contrary to 
the will of God and of Our Lady; because of all this I shall keep si- 
lence. But I will tell you that if you wish to keep your complexion for 
a long time, you must make a practice of washing in water—spring 
or well or river: warning you that if you adopt any artificial prepara- 
tion your countenance soon becomes withered, and your teeth black; 
and in the end ladies grow old before the course of time; they come 
out the most hideous old women imaginable. And this will have to 
be enough discussion of the matter. 


THE FINAL SECTION, DEVOTED TO METHODS OF 
CASTING, BEGINS HERE. 


Now it seems to me that I have said enough about all the systems of 
painting. I will tell you about something else which is very useful and 
gets you great reputation in drawing, for copying and imitating 
things from nature: and it is called casting. 


* Remola o ver cruscha. Remola is found only in L, and is introduced into the 
Vocabolario . . . della Crusca on the strength of this solitary occurrence. Dr. L. F. 
Solano, of Harvard University, suggests that remola is merely a slip of the pen for 
semola, and I have no doubt that this is the true explanation. 

8 T., CLXII; M., CLXXX. 

4 Cennino married a lady of Cittadella, near Padua, Donna Ricca della Ricca by 
name, some time before 1398. (See the Milanesi edition, Preface, p. vi.) 

5 T., CLXIII; M., CLXXXI. 


124 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


HOW TO TAKE A LIFE MASK. 
If you wish to have a face of a man or woman, of any rank, adopt 
this method. Get the young man or woman: or an old man, though 


you can hardly do the beard or hair; but have the beard shaved off. 





Take rose-scented, perfumed oil; anoint the face with a good-sized 
minever brush. Put a cap or hood over the head; and have a bandage, 
about nine inches wide, and as long as from one shoulder to the 


1T., CLXIV; M., CLXXXII. 


MAKING A LIFE MASK 125 


other, wound around the top of the head over the cap; and stitch 
the edge around the cap from one ear to the other.’ Put a little cotton 
into each ear, that is, into the hole; and drawing tight the edge of the 
bandage or cloth, stitch it to the beginning of the collar; and it gives 
a half turn in the middle of the shoulder, and comes back to the but- 
tons in front.’ And arrange and stitch it in this way on the other 
shoulder too; and in that way you get the head shaped up with the 
bandage. When this is done, stretch the man or woman out on a car- 
pet, on top of a bench or table. Get an iron hoop, one or two fingers 
in width, with a few teeth on top, like a saw. And have this hoop go 
around the man’s face, and have it two or three fingers longer than 
the face. Get one of your helpers to keep it hanging away from the 
face, so that it does not touch the waiting person. Take this bandage, 
and draw it up, around and around, hooking the edge of it which has 
not been stitched on to the teeth of this hoop, and then fastening it in 
the middle of the space between the flesh and the hoop so that the 
hoop stands as far away from <the edge of> the bandage as from the 
<edge of the> bandage to the face all around. Let there be two fingers, 
or a little less, all around, according to how thick you want the mold 
of plaster to come out; for it is right there that you have to cast it. 


THE BREATHING TUBES." 


You need to have a goldsmith make two little brass or silver tubes, 
round on top, and more open than below, the way a trumpet is; and 
have them each about nine inches long, and one finger in diameter, 
made up as light as possible. On the other, lower, end they should be 
made in the shape of the nostrils of the nose; and enough smaller to 
fit into the nostrils very accurately, without making the nose spread 
at all. And have them closely perforated with little holes from the 
center up, and tied together; but at the base, where they go into the 

2 That is, across the forehead. To make clear the somewhat awkward description 
of this process, my colleague, Lewis E. York, has kindly executed the accompanying 
drawing. 

3 Experimental investigation of this passage with Mr. York leads me to read da for 


da’ in the Italian text, I, 117, 1. 27, and a’ bottoni for a bottoni, in |. 28. 
LT, CLXV; M., CLXXXII. 


126 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


nose, have them kept apart artificially as far as will equal that space 
of flesh which lies between the nostrils. After this: 


THE OPERATIONS OF CASTING THE MATRIX. 

Have the man or the woman stretched out; and have him put these 
little tubes into the nostrils of his nose, and have him hold them him- 
self, with his hand. Have some plaster of Paris” ready, made and 
roasted, fresh and well sifted. Have some tepid water near you in a 
basin, and put some of this plaster briskly on top of this water. Work 
swiftly, for it sets fast; and do not get it either too liquid or not 
enough so. Take a glass: take some of this preparation, and put it on, 
and fill in around the face with it. When you have got it evenly filled, 
keep the eyes to cover after all the rest of the face. Have him keep his 
mouth and eyes closed—not tightly, for that is not necessary, but as 
if he were asleep; and when your opening is filled in one finger over 
the nose, let it stand a while, until it sets. And bear in mind that if 
this person whom you are casting is very important, as in the case of 
lords, kings, popes, emperors, you mix this plaster with tepid rose 
water; and for other people any tepid spring or well or river water 
is good enough. 

When your preparation is good and dry,’ take a scalpel or a pen- 
knife, or scissors, neatly, and cut around the bandage which you 
stitched on: draw the tubes out of his nose carefully; have him sit up, 
or stand up, holding between his hands the preparation which he has 
on his face, working his face about carefully to get it out of this mask 
or mold. Set it aside, and take great care of it. 


HOW TO CAST THIS WASTE MOLD.* 


When this job is done, take a swaddling cloth, and wind it all 
around this mold, in such a way that the cloth projects two fingers 
beyond the edge of the mold. Take a thick minever brush; and with 


1T., CLXVI, and M., CLXXXIV, begin with the “After this” at the end of the 
preceding paragraph. I follow here the division marked in the MSS. (See my text I, 
TLS sells) 

2 Literally, “of Bologna or Volterra.” See n. 1, p. 70, above. 

3 Asciutto e seccho. See also Italian text, I, 111, l. 17. 

4 Included in T., CLVI; M., CLXXXIV. 


CASTING WHOLE FIGURES 127 


any oil you please lubricate the hollow of the mold, very carefully, 
so as not to spoil anything by accident. And wet up some of the same 
plaster in the same way. And if you care to mix in some of the powder 
of pounded brick, it will be much the better for it. And take some of 
this plaster with the glass, or with a porringer, and put it into the 
mold; and hold it over a settle, so that when you put in your mixture 
you may pound gently on the settle with the other hand, so that the 
plaster has a chance to get into every part evenly, like wax into a seal, 
and not make bubbles or holes. When the mold is all done and filled 
up, let it stand for half a day, or a day at the most. Take a little ham- 
mer, and deftly feel over and chip off the outside crust, that is, that 
of the first mold, in such a way as not to break the nose or anything 
else. And if . . . to find. . . .° <And if you want to make) this mold 
easier to chip, before you fill it up, take a piece of saw, and saw it in 
several places on the outside; not so much as to go way through, for 
that would be too bad. You will find that when it is filled up the least 
stroke of your little hammer will shatter it neatly. In this way you 
will take the effigy or physiognomy or casting of every great lord. 
And know that afterward, once you have the first one, you may have 
the mask cast from this mold in copper, metal, bronze, silver, lead, 
and, generally, in any metal you please. Just get capable masters who 
understand founding and casting. 


HOW TO CAST WHOLE FIGURES. 


Know that if you wish to follow this process into more subtle mas- 
tery, I will inform you that you may mold and cast a man in one 
piece, just as in ancient times. Many good figures and nudes are to be 
found. Therefore, if you want a whole nude man or woman, you must 
first have him stand upright in the bottom of a box, which you get 
built up to the height of the man’s chin. And have this box all fit to- 
gether® lengthwise halfway from one side to the other. Arrange to 


2 Some instruction seems to have been lost here, probably through confusion by the 
scribe of two sentences beginning E[s]se. What is missing may be advice on repairing 
the nose if it does get broken. Both scribes seem to have had a good deal of trouble 
with this chapter. 

1T., CLXVII; M., CLXXXV. 

8 R: “fit together, or rather, come apart.” 


128 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


have a thin templet* of very thin copper from the middle of the shoul- 
ders, starting at the ears, down to the bottom of the box; and have it 
follow lightly over the flesh of the nude without injury, not pressing 
on the flesh by so much as a line. And have this templet nailed on to 





the edge where this box fits together. And in this way nail on four 
pieces of templet which will close up together as the edges of the box 
do. Then grease the nude; stand him up in this box: wet up a great 
quantity of plaster with quite warm water; and have an assistant, so 
that if you fill in in front of the man the assistant will fill in in back, 
so as to get the box full at the same time, up to the throat: because you 
can do the face separately, as I have shown you. Let the plaster stand 
until it has hardened thoroughly. Then open and take apart the box; 
and insert tools and chisels between the edges of the box and the 
copper or iron templets which you made; and open them up, the 
way you would a nut, holding on each side these pieces of the box 
and of the casting which you have made. And you extract the nude 


8 Or “paten” (piastra). 


CASTING ONE’S SELF 129 


gently from it: wash him diligently with clear water, for his flesh will 
have turned the color of a rose. And in the same way, again, as when 
you filled in the face, you may cast this mold or casting in any metal 
you please; but I advise you, in wax. The reason: it enables you to 
chip the plaster without injury to the figure, because you may re- 
move, add and repair wherever the figure is defective. After this you 
may add the head to it; and cast everything together, including the 
whole person. And likewise you may cast separately, member by 
member, that is, an arm, a hand, a foot, a leg; a bird, a beast, and any 
sort of animal, fish and other such things. But they have to be dead, 
because they have neither the natural sense nor the rigidity to stand 
still and steady. 


HOW TO MAKE A CAST OF YOUR OWN PERSON.* 


On the same subject. You may also cast your own person, as fol- 
lows.’ Get ready a quantity of plaster or of clay,’ well worked over 
and clean, wet up quite soft, as if it were an ointment; and have it 
spread out on a good broad table, such as a dining table. Have it 
placed on the ground; have this plaster or clay spread out on it a foot 
deep. Fling yourself on it, on whatever side you wish, front or back 
or side. And if this plaster or clay takes you well, get yourself pulled 
out of it neatly, pulling yourself out straight, so as not to shift it in 
any direction. Then let this mold dry.* When it is dry, have it cast in 
lead. And, in the same way, do the other side of your person, that is, 
the opposite to that which you have done. Then join them together; 
cast it all at once in lead or in other metals. 


CASTINGS IN GESSO FOR USE ON PANEL» 


If you want to cast little figures of lead or other metals, first grease 


1T., CLXVIII; M., CLXXXVI. 

? The punctuation of this sentence here differs slightly from that used in the Italian 
text, 1; 127, 15 18% 

8 L, ciera; R, cera: 1 think in error for crea, i.e., creta, “clay.” See Italian text I, 
121, n. 2; and n. I, p. 77, above. 

4 This direction, coupled with intrisa, “wet up,” above, makes it sufficiently clear 
that clay rather than wax was intended as the molding material. 

5 T., CLXIX; M., CLXXXVII. 


, 


130 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


your figures, and make molds in clay,” and cast them with anything 
you please. It is true that on panel you sometimes need some reliefs, 
such as heads of men and lions or other animals, or tiny little figures. 
Let the mold which you have made in clay® get dry: then grease it 
well with oil.* Have some gesso, sottile or grosso, ground with rather 
strong size: cast some of this gesso, hot, on the mold; let it cool off. 
When it is cold, separate this gesso a little way from the mold with 
the point of the penknife. Then blow quite hard into this opening. 
You catch your little gesso figure in your hand; and it will be fin- 
ished. And you may make up a lot of them in this way, and keep 
them on hand. And know that it is better to make them in winter 
than in summer. 


HOW TO CAST MEDALS. 


If you wish to cast medals, you may cast them in clay’ or in plaster. 
Get them dry, and then melt some sulphur; get it cast in these molds, 
and it will be done. And if you wish to do them just with plaster, mix 
ground red lead with it; that is, mix the dry powder with the plaster. 
And make it as stiff as you think best, to suit yourself. 


HOW TO MAKE A MOLD FROM A SEAL OR COIN.* 


If you wish to cast a seal, or a ducat or other coin, very perfectly, fol- 
low this method; and hold it dear, for it is a very perfect thing. Take 
a little basin half full of clear water, or full, as you please. Take half 
a porringer of ashes. Throw them into this little basin, and work them 
over with your hand. Wait a little: before the water clears entirely, 
empty some of this rather muddy water into another little basin; and 
do that several times, until you think you have as much of the ashes 
as you need. Then let it settle until the water is clear and the ashes 
have all gone to the bottom. Draw off this water, and dry the ashes 
in the sun, or any way you please. Then wet them up with salt dis- 


2 See n. 3, p. 129, above. 

® So R; L has ciera. I think erroneously. 

4 Literally, “with oil for eating or for burning.” See n. 2, p. 77, above. 

5 T., CLXX; M., CLXXXVIII. 

6 R, terra; L, ciera. 7T., CLXXI; M., CLXXXIX. 


CASTING COINS AND MEDALS 131 


solved in water, and make a sort of plaster of them. Then in this plas- 
ter cast seals, medals, little figures, coins, and in general anything 
which you wish to cast. Having done so, let the plaster dry gradually 
without fire or sun. Then cast lead, silver, or any metal you wish 
upon this plaster, for this plaster is capable of standing any great 
weight. 

Praying that God All-Highest, Our Lady, Saint John, Saint Luke, 
the Evangelist and painter, Saint Eustace, Saint Francis, and Saint 
Anthony of Padua will grant us grace and courage to sustain and 
bear in peace the burdens and struggles of this world; and as regards 
the students of this book that They will grant them grace to study 
well and to retain it well, so that by their labors they may live in 
peace and keep their families in this world, through grace, and at the 
end, on high, through glory, per infinita secula seculorum, AMEN. 


The BOOK IS FINISHED: 
REFERAMUS GRATIA CHRISTI. 


2 The verse which follows in R may be rendered in English in some such way as this: 


Praise be to God and 
to Holy Mary 
forever 
Virgin. 
DE 
If you with God’s will once your will unite If want constrains you, if you suffer loss, 
Your every deepest longing will come right. Seek balm from Christ, by mounting on 
the Cross. 

After Referamus gratia Christi, the scribe of L adds the date, 31 July, 1437, and the 
words “Ex Stincharum, ecc.” The transcription of that manuscript, to which alone the 
date applies, was probably carried out in the Florentine debtors’ prison, the “Stinche.” 





INDEX 


Adamant, 25 n, 83n 

Albertus Magnus, 20 n 

Alchemy, 24-25, 28, 30, 33-34 

Alloyed gold, 60, 97, 102 

Aloes, 62 n 

Alum, 26; rock, 39, 103, 117 

Alumina, 26 n 

Ambrogio di Ser Pietro da Siena, 35 n 

Ancona, 3 n. See Panel 

Angels, 86 

Animals, 110; crests in shapes of, 109; 
forms in ornament, 88, 116-117; 
gilded paper, 108; irrational, 95; teeth 
of, for burnishers, 82; to cast, 129; to 
draw, 49 

“Apples,” 46 

Appliqué, 105 

Apprenticeship, 64-65 

Architecture, to paint, 56-57, 105 

Arezzo, 85 n 

Armenian bole: see Bole 

Arms: to paint, on glass, 111; —, on 
wool, 107; to cast, 129 

Arzica, xv; character of, 30; in mixed 
greens, 30, 32, 35 n 

Ash gray, 53, 56 

Ashes, 111; for casting, 130-131; as 
gesso, 109 

Assisi, 85 n 

Azurite, 21, 31; character of, 35; distin- 
guished from lapis lazuli, 37; drapery 
of, 54; grades of, 93; not good for 
fresco, 50; optical property, 55 n; 
preparation of, 35 n; temperas for, 55; 
to grind, 36, 54; to imitate, 36; to 
model, 55; to wash, 54; used under 
ultramarine, 55 

Azurro della Magna, 31 n. See Azurite 


Bacon, 78 

Bagdad, 11-12, 29, 36 
Baker, 19 

Balas rubies, 82 

Baldinucci, Filippo, 16 n 
Bambycene, 7 n 

Banners, 107 

Bartholomaeus Anglicus, 21 n 
Batter, 65, 72 

Bazzèo, 45 

Beards, 95, 124; to paint in fresco, 48 


Behaviour, 3, 16 9 


Biacca: see White lead 

Bianco San Giovanni: see Lime white 

Biffo: see Violet 

Birds, 56; crests in shapes of, 109; to 
cast, 129 

Black, 12, 45, 47, 53-55, 61, 94-95; al- 
mond shell, 22; lampblack, 22-23, 
117; peach stone, 22; stone, 20, 22; 
vine twig, 22, 116, 121; gold brocade, 
87; good for fresco, 50; in oil, 113; 
occurring in earth, 27; pure, hard to 
use in fresco, 56; to grind, 20-22; 
printing on cloth, 115-116 

Block printing on cloth, 115-116. See 
also Woodblock 

Blood, to paint, 95 

Bloodstone: see Hematite 

Blue, 102; occurring in earth, 27; prepa- 
ration for, in fresco, 54; size tempera 
for, 68; to wash, 39. See also Azurite, 
Drapery, Indigo, Ultramarine 

Body: brazil with, 103; colors without, 
102-103, 116; dead, to paint, 94-95; 
human, proportions of, 48-49; —, to 
cast, 127-130 

Bole, 22, 73, 79, 86, 97, I0I, 109, II9; 
for gilding, 30; to apply, 3; —, on 
cloth, 104; to temper for gilding, on 
silk, 106-107; —, on panels, 79-80 

Bologna, 126 n 

“Bolognese Manuscript,” 
32, 35, 37 n 

Boltz von Ruffach, Valentin, 22 n 

Bone dust, 9, 12; to apply to panels for 
drawing, 4; used in tinting papers, 12; 
used on parchment, 6, 7 

Bone style, 87 

Bone, to mend, 66-67 

Bones: to burn and grind, 5; varieties to 
choose, 5 

Books, 100; makers of, 65 

Boxwood, 4 

Bran, 123 

Brass style, 86 

Brazil, 25 n, 39, 103, 117 

Bread crumb, 8 

Breathing tubes, 125-126 

Brick dust, 24, 119-120, 127 

Brocades: see Gold 

Bronze casting, 127 

Brushes: for gilding, 41, 80; for outlin- 


25n, 30n, 


n 


134 


ing, 41; for whitewashing, 41; kept 
under oil for oil painting, 59; sizes of, 
40; to make,. 40-42 

Buildings, to paint, 56-57, 105 

Burnam, J. M., 62n 

Burnish gold-size, 73 n 

Burnishers, 10-11, 100; hematite, 25, 
82; tooth, 25 n, 82; to polish, 82 n, 83 

Burnishing, 3; areas of woolen cloth for 
gilding, 108; delayed, to remedy, 83- 
84; gilded paper, 108; gold, on cloth, 
104; —, on panel, 82-84; —, on 
parchment, 100-101; mordant gilding, 
89, 97; stones good for, 82; to hasten, 
83 


Caesalpinia, 39 n 

Calfskins, 81 

Canopies, 57, 69 

Canvas, embroidery, 105 n 

Capitals, 57 

Card for gilding, 80 

Cardinal, 25 

Cartoons, paper for, 16 n 

Caskets: see Chests 

Casole, 27 

Casting: in sulphur, 130; lead figures, 
129-130; medals, 130; box for, 127- 
129; plaster —, 124-131; salt and 
ashes for, 130-131; use of cuttle in, 
4; usefulness of, 123; your own per- 
son, 129 

Castings: for embellishments, 78, 109- 
110; tin surfaced, 109-110; —, to 
fasten to chests, 110 

Cat’s teeth for burnishers, 82 

Cellar, to restore gold, 83 

Cement: for glass, 66; for stones, 66 

Cennini, Andrea, 2, 27 

Ceruse: see White lead 

Chalk, 42, 119 n; tailors’, 104, 108 

Chanfà, 54 n 

Charcoal, 74, 83, 104, 118; vine, 22; 


willow, 19, 75; drawing, 17; — for 
fresco, 42-43; — for oil painting, 58; 
— on cloth, 105; — on gessoed 
panels, 75; — on walls, 41-43, 121; 


— to fix, 43-44, 58, 75, 111, 121; 
holder for, 75; to erase, 17, 44, 75; to 
make, 19; to test, 19 

Checker, 90 

Cheese glue, to make, 68 

Chest, colors from, 22, 40, II5 

Chests, embellishment of, 78, 109-110 

Chiaroscuro drawing, 17-18 

Chrozophora tinctoria, 11 n 

Ciefalonia, 108 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Cinabrese, 23, 49, 51, 94; good for 
fresco, 50; light, 23, 45-46 

Cinnabar, 25 n 

Cittadella, 123 n 

Clay, 129-130; gilders’ red, 73 n 

Cloth: linen or silk, to paint on, 103- 
104; of gold, 65, 86-89: see also Gold 
brocades; painted, flexibility of, 104; to 
apply to panel, 3, 70, 80; to draw on, 
103; to paint both sides of, 103, 106; 
to prime, 103; to size, 103, 105-106; 
to stretch, 103, 105-106, 116; woolen, 
to lay gold and silver on, 107-108; 
—, to paint, 90 

Clothlets, xvii, 7, 8, 35 n; to temper, 7, 
103 

Coins, to cast, 130-131 

Colle di Val d’Elsa, 1, 2, 27, 28n 

Colors: dishes for, 45, 59; effect of var- 
nish on, 99; fat, 22, 26-27, 30; fat 
and lean, xii, 28 n; fatness of, 34; for 
foliage, 29; for fresco, 50; for gilded 
glass, 113-114; for painting glass, 
111-112; for parchment, 102; for 
secco, 50; fugitive, 24-27, 29-30, 32, 
34; grinding of, 22, 25, 91; —, excess 
injurious to malachite, 31, to azurite, 
36; grinding with oil, 59; importance 
of using good colors, 60; in oil, to 
keep, 59; jars for, 22; kept under 
water, 22, 40; mixed with powdered 
gold, 102; natural and artificial, 20— 
21; occurrence of, in earth near Colle, 
27; to lay in, 3, 94, 104, 107; to pre- 
pare for inks for block printing, 116- 
117; to size, when inadequately tem- 
pered, 68; tempering, 3, 67 and pas- 
sim; — for tinting paper, 10; — for 
work on cloth, 104; — for work on 
parchment, 102; washes of, 105: see 
also Drawing; without body, 102-103, 
116. See also individual colors 

Columns, 57, 69 

Compasses, 43, 64, 85, 62 n; large, 43 

Contract, for Lorenzetti Ancona, 85 n 

Copings, 98, 120 

Copper: casting, 127; filings, 111; style 
for drawing, 5 n; templets, 128; verdi- 
gris made from, 33 

Cosmetics, dangers of, 123 

Costumes: see Draperies 

Cotton, 6 n, 13, 81, 97, 112 

Counterfeiting, 130-131 

Cracking of wood, to prevent, 69 

Crayons, 106-107 

Crests, to model and decorate, 108-109 

Crimson, 39 n, 117 


INDEX 


Crooks, 25n, 80, 100, 108. See also 
Burnishers 

Crowns: see Diadems 

Crystal structure, 24 n, 25 n, 82n 

Cushion: cloth of gold, 86; gilder’s, 81 

“Cutting in,” 85 n 

Cuttle, 4 


Damascus, 66 

Damask patterns, 115 n 

De arte illuminandi, 11 n, 32n, 67n 

De coloribus et artibus Romanorum, 62 n 

De proprietatibus rerum, 21 n 

Dead bodies, to paint, 94-95 

Diadems, 103-104, 106-107; gilded tin, 
61; —, to apply, 63; to engrave, 85; 
to model in mortar, 63-64 

Diamond, 25, 83 

Dies for cutting tin, 61 

Dishes for colors, 45, 59 

Distemper, 121 

Dog’s teeth for burnishers, 82 

Dometa<r>ia, 27 

Doratura, 61-62 

Dragonsblood, 26 

Draperies, for glass windows, III 

Drapery: azurite, in secco, 54-55; black, 
in fresco and secco, 55; blue, modeled 
down, 54-55; —, modeled up, 39, 
50-51, 57M, 93; lac, on panel, 91-92; 
light cinabrese, 24; mosaic gold, on 
parchment, 102; ocher, 27; purple, in 
fresco, 53; shot, 53-54, 89, 102; —, 
ash gray, in fresco, 53; —, green, in 
fresco, 53; —, lac, in secco, 53; —, 
ocher, in fresco or secco, 54; to draw, 
17-18; to lace, 102; to model in fresco, 
49-50; — in tempera, 91-93; turnsole, 
in fresco, 53; ultramarine, in secco, 55; 
—, imitation of, in fresco, 52; violet, 
in fresco, 52. See also Gold brocades 

Drawing: ability in, 111; black stone for, 
20; brass point, 5, 86; chalk, 104; 
charcoal, 17, 19, 20, III, 121; —, on 
cloth, 103; —, to fix, 17, 75, 103, 
106, 121; — and ink, on gessoed 
panels, 75; copper point, 5 n; crayon, 
to fix, 106-107; for distemper, 121; 
for embroiderers, 105-106; for fresco, 
43-44; for oil painting, 58; “form” 
(‘“half-tone,” “chiaroscuro”), 16-19; 
incised, for blue drapery, 54; lead 
point, 7, 100; making improvements 
in, 75; most elementary system for, 
4; on gilded glass, 113; — gold 
ground, 86; — little panels, 4, 64; — 
parchment, for illuminating, 100; — 


> 


white-painted parchment tablets, 4; 
pen, 8, 13, 75, 100; —, on cloth, 105; 
silver point, 5, 17, 86; study of 14-15; 
system of, tin point, 5 n; with washes 
of color, 8, 106; with washes of ink, 
7, 8, 17-18, 75, 106; —, on cloth, 
103; with washes of white, 18-19 

Drawings: to color, 7, 8; to copy, 75; to 
trace, 13 

Druggists, 10, 14, 24, 37 

Ducat, 38, 60, 84, 130 

Dyes: brazil, 117; saffron, 29, 116-117; 
verdigris, 117 


Eggshells, mosaic of, 115; —, to gild, 
115 

Egg white: and gum, tempera, 102; and 
size, tempera, 55, 104, 106-107; and 
yolk, tempera, 121-122; —, with fig 
latex, 51, 58; applied over varnish, 
110; tempera, 7, 80, 100-I0I, 115; 
—, to prepare, 79, 100; used for “‘var- 
nishing,” 99, 100 

Egg yolk: and size, tempera, 118-119; 
and white, tempera, 121; —, with fig 
latex, 51, 58; tempera, 19, 32-34, 36, 
51, 58, 87-89, 9I, 94, 107, I2I 

Egg yolks: to remove make-up, 122- 
123; town and country, 55, 94 

Embellishment of block printed cloth, 
116 

Embellishments, 3; castings for, 77; for 
chests, 78, 109-110; for reliquaries, 
112; mordant, 85, 89, 96-98, 107; on 
panels, 76; on walls, with gold and 
tin, 60-63; powdered gold, 102; 
punched in gold grounds, 85 

Embroiderers, 105, 107 

Emerald, 82, 83n 

Emery powder, 83 

Engraving: gold grounds, 85-86; stone 
molds, 78, 109-110; wood blocks, 115 

Ensigns, 107 

Erasures, 7, 8, 17, 44. See also Drawing 

Experience: necessity for, 47-48, 65, 85- 
86; rewards of, 9I, 110, 117 

Experimenta de coloribus, 26 n, 62 n 


Facades, 57 

Faces, proportions of, 45; to cast, 124- 
127 

Fat oil: see Oil, linseed, sun cooked 

Fatness: see Colors, fat 

Faulting, 81 n 

Fernambuco, 39 n. See Brazil 

Fig: shoots (latex from), used in tem- 
pera, 51, 58; wood, 4 


136 


Figures: lead, to cast, 129-130; whole, 
to cast, 127-129 

Fish: gold spines for, 96; to cast, 129; 
to paint, 95-96 

Flesh painting: in fresco, alternative 
methods for, 45-47; on panels, 93-95; 
terre-verte underpainting for, 95 

Fleurons, 57 

Florence, 23, 30, 59 

Florin, 85 n 

Flour, 78; paste, 65, 105 

Flowers, 56, 110; gilded paper, 108 

Foliage: to paint, 56; ornaments, 67, 69, 
71, 85-86, 100, 117; —, to gesso, 71- 
72; —, to smooth gesso on quickly, 74 

Folium, 11 n 

Fresco, 77, 90-9I, 104, 122; grisaille 
decoration in, 122; substitute for, 121; 
beards in, 48; colors, 50; divisions of 
the work, 44; draperies, shot, 53-543 
draperies, system of painting in, 49- 
50; drawing for, 42-43; flesh paint- 
ing, 45-47; hair in, 47-48; methods 
for, 42-50; order of operations for, 3; 
plastering for, 43-44; preparations for 
doing a face in, 45; underpainting in, 
for blues in secco, 54; white for, 34 

Fruits, 56 


Gaddi: Agnolo, 1, 2; his painting 
method, 46; Taddeo, 1, 2; his paint- 
ing method inferior to Agnolo’s, 46 

Gamboge, 107 n 

Garlic mordant, 97-98, 107 

Garnets, 82 

Gelatine tracing paper, to make, 14 

Gems: artificial, 76; mounted, 76, 88 

Geometry, 43 

Germany, 35. See also 31 n 

Gesso, 104, 114; for modeling, to mix, 
76; glue for, 67; modeling with, 3, 
67, 73, 76, 109; scrapings of, 74; 
temperas for, 68-69, 72, 76; to apply, 
3, 65; — to cloth, 103; —, to panel, 
70-74; —, to stone, 118-119; to color, 
for modeling, 73; to grind, 65; to 
keep warm during use, 72; to scrape, 
3, 71 N, 74, 109, 119; to smooth down 
quickly, 74; to test smoothness of, 74 

Gesso Bolognese, 126 n 

Gesso d’oro, 119 n 

Gesso grosso, xv-xvi, 70-71, 110; 
ground with size, 70-71, 109; mixed 
with tow for modeling, 109; tempered 
with size and egg yolk, for stone, 119; 
to cast, 110, 130; to scrape, 71 

Gesso sottile, xv—xvi, 76, 100-101, 106, 
109; for modeling, 67, 73, 76, 109; 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


tempered with size and egg yolk, for 
stone, 119; to cast, 77, 130; to grind, 
temper, and apply, 72; to make, 71; 
used without gesso grosso, 73 

Gesso Volteriano, 70 n, 126n 

Giallorino, xv, 21, 50, 53, 56, 90, 91 n; 
character of, 27-28; to grind, 28 

Gilded paper, 108; devices of, 
mosaic of, 115 

Gilders’: cushions, 81; gesso, 119; tip, 
81n, 112 

Gilding, 3, 65; appearance of well bur- 
nished, 84; bole for, 22, 79, 80; card 
for, 80; double, 84; dryness of, to 
remedy, 83-84; egg white, to prepare 
for, 79; fragility of, 83; method of, 
for panels, 80-82; minever brushes 
for, 41; mordant, 62-63, 65, 78, 89, 
96-98; —, to burnish, 89, 97; on 
cloth, 103, 105-107; on panels, 80-82; 
on parchment, 100-101; on silk, 106; 
on walls, preparation for, 51; quality 
of size required for gesso under, 68; 
terre-verte for, 22, 30, 80; to fault, 
81 

Giotto, 1, 2, 46 

Glair: see Egg white. 

Glass: available in all colors, 111; brazil, 
to scrape with, 39, 117; broken, for 
grinding orpiment, 29; —, to mend, 
66; cutting, 111; eyes for crests, 109; 
gems, 76; gilded, to draw on, 113; 
—, to back up with colors, 113-114; 
mordants for, 64; to design and paint 
for windows, 111; to fire, 111-112; to 
gild, 112; to paint on, 60, 112-114 

Glassworkers, 111 

Glazes, 88 n 

Glue, 105; cheese and lime, 68; fish, 10, 
14; —, preparation and use, 66-67; 
for tracing paper, 14; goat, 67; leaf, 
69; —, substitute for, 68; —, to make, 
67; tempera, 10, 67 (see Temperas, 
Size); —, for inadequately tempered 
colors, 68 

Goat glue, to make, 67 

Gold: alloyed, 60, 97, 102; and blue, 
brocade of, 93; —, esteemed combi- 
nation, 36; application of leaf, 81; bro- 
cades, 3, 65, 76, 86-89, 93; —, for 
walls, 89; —, to scrape, 87; —, to 
stamp, 88; burnished, on crests, 109; 
—, cloth, 103; —, paper, 108; —, 
panel, 80-89 and passim; —, silk, 
106-107; burnishing, 3, 25, 84; —, on 
cloth, 104; —, on parchment, 100-— 
101; —, time for, 83; —, to hasten, 
83; character of, 98; crests, 109; eco- 


108; 


INDEX 


nomical use of, 63, 82, 88, 97; embel- 
lishments with: see Embellishments; 
excess, to cover or scrape off, 86; 
grounds, mercury destructive to, 101; 
—, on parchment, 100-101; —, prepa- 
ration for, 76; not to be varnished, 99, 
119; powdered, to make, 102; —, to 
mix with colors, 102; —, to temper, 
102; punching, 3, 85, 104; resem- 
blance of orpiment to, 29; size for, 
730; —, for parchment, 100-101; 
spines for fish, 96; stamping, 3, 65, 
85-86, 104; —, all-over, 86; —, in 
brocades, 88; —, modeling in, 86, 88; 
thickness of, 84n, 85 n; —, for flats, 
84; —, for moldings and ornaments, 
85; —, for mordant gilding, 85, 97; 
—, for work on glass, 112; to grind, 
102; to lay, 3; —, on glass, 112; —, 
golden tin, 61-62; —, panels, 80-82; 
—, parchment, 100-101; to mark out 
figures against, 3, 86; to scrape off 
glass, 113 

Goldbeater, 85 

Goldsmith, 4, 25 n, 97 

Grain (Kermes), 25 n 

Greek: style, 2; work, 115 

Green: dark, 53, 56; gold brocade, 87; 
grass, 28-30; mixed, 50; —, arzica 
and azurite, 35 n; —, arzica, azurite, 
and giallorino, 30, 32; —, azurite and 
giallorino, 32; malachite and giallo- 
rino, 56; —, orpiment and indigo, 32; 
—, terre-verte and white, 33, 50; —, 
terre-verte and giallorino, 28, 50; —, 
ultramarine and orpiment, not good 
on walls, 33; —, verdigris and saffron, 
30, 33 N, 117; sage, 50; to lighten, 50; 
to paint walls in, 121-122; use of ver- 
juice in, 32. See also Malachite, Terre- 
verte, Verdigris 

Greenish gray, 9, 54, 57 

Grinding, 3, 9-11, 20-22, 65; colors in 
oil, 59; excessive, injurious to certain 
colors, 31, 36; stone and muller, 21 

Grisaille, 121-122 

Gros-point, 105 n 

Gum arabic, 18; tempera, 7, 18, 102- 
103; —, with egg white, 102 

Gum lac, 26 n, 27 

Gum mastic, 37, 66 


Hair, 95, 124; colors for, 27; painting in 


fresco, 47-48 
Halo, 64. See Diadems 
Hangings, to decorate, 
cheap method, 105 
Hatching, 99-91, IIO-III 
Heads, to cast, 130. See Life masks 


104-105; —, 


137 


Helmets: see Crests 

Hematite (stone): grain of, 82; varieties 
of, 25, 82; see also Burnishers; (color), 
II, 25-26, 28, 50, 53-54; grinding, 
25, 28 

Heraclius, 62 n 

Herringham, Lady Christiana J., x and 
passim 

Honey, 121 

Hooks: see “Little hooks” 

Horizontals, geometrical construction of, 


4 
Horses, 108; colors for, 28; teeth of, for 
burnishers, 82 n 


Hg, Albert, 1x, 1I.n, 31n, 62n, 83n, 
114 N 

Illuminating, 98; colors for, 7, 26, 30, 
101-103; drawing for, 100. See Gild- 
ing 

Illuminators, 30, 101 

Illuminierbuch, 22 n 

Indigo;01r,120;132:130, 52,55; 91, 6105, 
117; with white, 36, 91; imitation of, 
35 n 

Ink drawing: see Drawings, pen and —, 
with washes of ink 

Inks for block printing on cloths of vari- 
ous colors, 116-117 

Iron: injurious to burnishers, 83; mor- 
dants on, 64, 98; painting on, 51, 57, 
60 

Isatis tinctoria, 35 n 

Isidore of Seville, 21 n 


Ivory, 74 


Jewels: see Gems. 
Johnston, Edward, 9 n 
Jousts, 107-108 


Karabacek, Joseph, 6 n, 53 n 
Kermes, 39 


la Marche, A. Lecoy de, 11 n, 67 n and 
passim 

Lac, 26, 53, 55, 86, 88, 91-92, 95, 102; 
appearance of, 26-27; in fresco, fugi- 
tive, 50; —, imitated, 26; in oil, 113; 
in secco, 27, 52; lake, 26 n; manufac- 
ture not described, 26; to grind, 27; 
varieties of, 26-27 

Laccio, 87 n 

Lake, 26: see also Lac 

Lampblack, 22-23, 117 

Lances, 29, 32 

Lapis lazuli, 37-38 

Lard, 78 

Laurie, Arthur P., 58 n, gon 

Le Bègue, Jehan, 20 n 


138 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Lead: casting, 127, 129, 131; style, 5 n; 
—, mixed with tin, 7: see also Draw- 
ing, lead point; white, 34: see White 
lead 

Leaf: see Gold, Silver and Foliage, — 
ornaments, and Leaves 

Leather, 81, 108 

Leaves, 102; modeled and gilded, 88; 
pattern of, 116; to plaster, 77 

Lecterns, 116 

Letters: gold, 100-101; to execute on 
glass, 111 

Liber de coloribus, 11 n 

Liber de temptatione, 65 n 

Liber Dedali philosophi, 35 n 

Liber diversarum artium, 
62 n 

Liber illuministarum, 4n, 82n 

Life masks, 124-127 

Lighting, arrangement of, for drawing, 
556s) ce 

Lime, 23, 34, 42, 44, 77, 103, 120; glue 
of — and cheese, 68 

Lime white, 21, 23-24, 33, 45-47, 49, 
52-53, 55, 91, 96; indispensable for 
fresco, 34, 50; manufacture of, 34; un- 
suitable for oil painting, 59 

Linen: block printing on, 115-116; to 
dye, with saffron, 29, 116; —, with 
verdigris and brazil, 116. See also 
Cloth 

Lines, to snap, 43-44, 56 

Lining, to paint, 90 

Linseed oil: see Oil, linseed 

Lions’ heads, castings of, 77, 130 

“Little apples,” 46 

“Little hooks,” 71, 74 

Lorenzetti, Pietro, 85 n 

Lutes: to mend, 66; glue for making, 67 

Lye, 29, 35 0, 38, 39, 103, 117 


Iin, 370, 


Majorca (i.e. Majolica), 66 

Make-up, to apply and remove, 122-123 

Malachite, 56, 96; character of, 31; 
grinding, 31; manufacture not de- 
scribed, 31; relation to azurite, 31 n; 
to refine, 31-32 


Mallet, r10 

Mappae clavicula, 62 n 

Marble, 21 

Marking out figures against gold 


grounds, 3, 86 
Mason, 57 
Massicot, 28 n 
Mastic, 37, 66 
Matrix, to cast, 126 
Measurement, unit of, 17, 48 
Measurements: see Proportions 


Medals, 130 

Media: see Temperas 

Mercury, 62 n, 101 

Merrifield, Mary Philadelphia, ix, xi and 
passim 

Metals, casting, 127, 131 

Michael Scot, 35 n 

Milanesi, Carlo and Gaetano, ix and pas- 
sim 

Millet, 85, 10I 

Millstone, 66, 83 

Minever: see Brushes; color, 53; tails, to 
preserve, 42 

Minium: see Red lead 

Modeling: gesso sottile for, see Gesso; in 
gold stamping, 86, 88; on stained 
glass, 111; on walls, 77-78; —, with 
wax, 78; system of, 17-18; “three 
dish” system of, 46, 49-52, 91-92 

Moldings: painted, 57; to gesso, 71 

Molds: see Casting, Engraving 

Mordant: garlic, 97, 107; gilding, 62-63, 
65, 78, 89, 96-98; ii gold for, 85, 
97; —, to burnish, 89, 97; —, to pre- 
pare wall for, 51; —, on cloth, 103, 
105, 107; oil and charcoal, for water- 
proofing, 118-119; standard, to make, 
96. See Doratura 

Mordants, 65; boiled oil for, 14, 58-59, 
96, 118; drying of, to control, 97; —, 
to test, 96; oil, 107; to apply, 96, 98; 
usefulness of, 64; waterproof and 
otherwise, 64, 98. See Mordant 

Morella, 11 

Mortar, lime: moisture injurious to, 120; 
to model with, 78; to roughen, go. See 
Plaster 

Mortar, bronze, 25, 28, 37 

Mosaic, 114-115 

Mosaic gold, 93 n, 101-102 

Mottez, Victor, 83 n 

Mountains: colors for, 28; to copy from 
nature, 57; to embellish, 56; to paint, 
55, 59, 105 

Muller, 21 

Mural painting: in oil, 57-58. See Fresco, 
Secco, Distemper 

Muratori, L. A., 62n 

Myrtle, 108 


Needles, 76, 87, 113 


Ocher, 9, 27-28, 43, 54-55; light, 12; 
— and dark, 27, 45, 47; good in 
fresco, 50; to grind, 27; usefulness of, 
27-28 

Oil, 127; effect of, on gesso, 120; fat, 59, 
96; lamp, 77, 130 n; linseed, 13, 22, 
37; 62 stia, boiled, 14, 58-59, 96, 


INDEX 


118, 120; —, sun cooked, 59, for 
mordants, 59, 96; —, to burn, for 
lampblack, 22-23, 117; olive, 14, 77 0; 
paint, 89-90; —, for make-up, 122; 


—, for parchment drawing-tablets, 4; 
—, on glass, 112-114; painting, 57- 
60, 88, 96, 108; —, a German prac- 
tice, 57; —, applicable to panels, 57, 
60; —, preparation for, 60; to remove 
from parchment, 74; scented, 124 

Original Treatises (Merrifield), 25 n and 
passim 

Ornaments: see Embellishments 

Orpiment, 32, 91; character of, 28; not 
good for fresco, 20, 50; tempera for, 
29; to grind, 29. See Greens, mixed 

Othloh, 65 n 

Outlines, incised: for fresco, 54; for gild- 
ing, 63, 76, 86 


Padua, 89 n, 123 n; women of, 123 

“Paduan Manuscript,” 33 n 

Painting: definition of, 1; Greek and 
Latin styles of, 2; on cloth, to varnish, 
104; on glass, 111-114; on silk, 106; 
order of operations for, 3; over var- 
nish, 110. See also Fresco, Secco, 
Panels, Oil, Distemper 

Palette, 81 n 

Palls, to decorate, 106 

Panels: beauties of painting on, 91-92; 
for drawing, 4; gessoed, to draw on, 
75; greasiness of, to correct, 69; how 
to paint on, 91-96; knots in, to repair, 
69; operations on, 3; painting flesh on, 
93-95; preparation of, for painting, 
69; the best way to learn to paint, 64; 
to apply cloth to, 70; to gesso, with 
gesso grosso, 70-71; —, with gesso 
sottile, 72-73; to gild, 80-82; to size, 
69; to varnish, 98-99; wood for, 69 

Paper, 6n; drawing, 6; — on, 7; gold 
and silver, 108; —, mosaic of, 115; 
tinted, 9-12, 19; to mend, 66-67; 
tracing, 13-14 

Paradise, 1, 102 

Parchment, 26, 85; — and paper distin- 
guished, 6 n; colors for, 29; for trac- 
ing, 13; glue for, 66; painting, gild- 
ing, and illuminating, 98, 100; paste 
for, 65; pounce patterns of, 87; size: 
see Size, to make; tinted, 9-12; —, to 
burnish, 10; to prepare for drawing, 4, 
6; to remove oil from, 74; to stretch, 
10 

Parchment worker, 13, 65 

Paste, 65, 105 

Pasteboard, 16 

Pastel, 35 n 


139 


Pastiglia, 71 n, 73 n. See Gesso 

Pattern, 87 n; repeats of, 87, 116 

Pen: flourishing, 35 n; to cut, 8. See 
Drawing 

Permanence, 24-27, 29, 30, 32, 34 

Pernambuco, 39 n. See Brazil 

Persian berries, 33 n 

Perspective, 56-57 

Petit-point, 105 n 

Petrus de Sancto Audemaro, 32 n, 62 n 

Phillipps, Sir Thomas, 62 n 

Pigments: see Colors; also individual 
color names, e.g., Vermilion, White 
lead, etc. 

Pile, 89 n, 107 

Pincers, 80 

Pine rosin, 37 

Pink, 103 

Pitch, 78, 121 

Plants, to paint, 56 

Plaster, 70; casting in, 124-131; diadems 
in, 63-64; for fresco, 3, 42-44; for oil 
painting on walls; mixed with red 
lead, 130; mixing for casting, 126; 
old, to distemper, 121; reliefs, 77 

Plastic, 35 n, 37-39 

Pliny, z1 n 

Plumb bob, 43 

Plums, wild, 32: see Rhamnus 

Poisonous nature, of orpiment, 28-29; of 
realgar, 29 

Porphyry (color), 23 

Porphyry slab, 5, 25, 71, 83; — and 
muller, 21 

Porporina, 93 n 

Porte-crayon, 75, 104, 113 

Portfolio, 16 

Pounce: for parchment, 7; patterns, 3, 
87 

Pouncing, colors for, 87 

Pourpoint, 93 n 

Pozzuoli red, 23 n 

Preservative action of salt, 65 

Proportions, 17, 48-49 

Prugnameroli, 32 n 

Pumice, 71 n 

Punch, 88 

Punching gold, 3, 85, 104 

Purger, Johannes, 82 n 

Purple, 11, 53, 93 


Quicksilver: see Mercury 
Quill cuttings, stained, mosaic of, 114. See 
also Pen, Brushes, sizes of, Porte-crayon 


Raffietti, 71 n. See “Little hooks” 
Raschiati, 71 n. See “Little hooks” 
Raw Sienna, 28 n 

Realgar, character of, 29 


140 


Red lead, 24-25, 86-87, 90, 117, 130; 
not good for fresco, 50; mixed with 
plaster, 130 

Red, Pozzuoli, 23 n 

Reds: see Cinabrese, Sinoper, Vermilion, 


Brazil, Kermes, Lac, Dragonsblood, 
Hematite, Red lead 
Reddle, 25 n 


Relief, importance of, 6 

Reliefs: to cast, for walls and panels, 78; 
—, for chests, 109-110 

Reliquaries, 112 

Reseda luteola, 30 n 

Rewards, temporal and spiritual, 60-61 

Rhamnus, 32 n 

Ricca, Donna Ricca della, 123 n 

Ricepte daffare piu colori, 35 n 

Rivers, to paint, 95-96 

Rockinger, Ludwig, 4 n, 58 n, 67 n, 82n 

Rome, 101 

Rose, 129; — scented oil, 124; — water, 
126 

Roses, 110; gilded paper, 108 

Rosette, 76, 88 

Rosettes, cut out of tin, 61 

Rosin, 37 

Rubies, 82 

Ruler, 61, 63; chamfered, for fresco, 57 

Rulers (rettori), 108 

Rust stains on gesso, to prevent, 69 


Saffron, 32n, 33, 63n; character of, 
29, 30; to temper, 29; —, for dyeing 
linen, 29, 117. See also Greens, mixed 

Saddlers, 67 

Saint John’s white: see Lime white 

Sal ammoniac, 101 

Saliva, 4, 50 

Salt, 130 

Sand, 42, 77, 109, 120 

Sanguine, 95 

Sapphires, 82 

Sawdust, 69 

Scale, idea of, 17, 43 n 

Schedula diversarum artium, 62 n 

Scraping: backgrounds gilded on glass, 
113; colors away to show patterns in 
gold, 3: see Gold brocades; excess 
gold, 86. See also Gesso 

Seals, 127, 130 

Secco, 3, 77, 96; blues in, preparation 
for, in fresco, 54; colors for, 50: see 
also individual colors; draperies in, 53— 
55, 93; green for, 32; preparing walls 
for, 51; shot draperies in, 53-54; tem- 
peras for, 51; use of ultramarine in, 
55> 93 

Secreta magistri Johannis ortulani vera et 
probata, 58n 


THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Serpentine, 21 

Shearings, 81; lake from, 26 

Shell gold, 102 

Shellac, 26 n 

Shields, 29, 32, 91 

Shopboy, 64 

Shot draperies, 53-54, 89, 102 

Siena, 35 

Silk, 90, 112; cloth, patterns of, 116; —, 
to paint and gild on, 106-107 

Silver, 83; applied with mordants, 89, 
97; casting, 127, 13%; (crests, 100, 
grounds, 88-89; mines, 35; paper, 
108; —, mosaic of, 115; style, 5, 17, 
86; tendency of to tarnish, 60; to 
grind, 102; brocade, with vermilion 
and lac, 88; —, with ultramarine, 89; 
point, 5 n, 86; —, drawing, 5, 17, 86 

Simi, Renzo, ix 

Sinoper, xiv, xv, 12, 23, 250, 44, 54; 
dark 47, 90, 91 n, 95; dark and light, 
27; good for fresco, 50; occurrence of, 
27 

Size, 58, 65, 77, 105, 109, 118; am- 
biguity of the word, xvi; dilute, 69; 
—, purpose of, 70; for gesso, 67-73, 
76, 103, 110; for gilding paper, 108; 
for gilding parchment, 100-101; 
strength of, for gessos, 71-73; —, to 
test, 69; tempera, 29, 32-33, 36, 68, 
89, 91, 122; —, with egg white, 104, 
106-107; —, with egg yolk, 55, 118- 
119; to make, 65; —, from parchment 
clippings, 67-69; —, from parchment 
scrapings, 68, 122 

Skewings, 97 

Sky blue, 36 

Slice, 21-22, 64, 71, 110, 119 

Solano, L. F., 123 n 

Soot, 23 

Sparrowhawks, physicked with orpiment, 
29 

Spincervino, 32 n 

Spindles, 19, 4I 

Sponge, 58, 79, 99, 105-106, 110, 118, 
121 

Sprigging, 90, III 

Stamping gold, 3, 88 

Stapf, O., 11 n 

Stars, 61-63, 110 

Stencils, 65 

Stinche, 131 n 

Stone, embellishments for, 78, 109-110; 
figures, 100; —, to gild, 118; grind- 
ing, 66, 83; mold, to cast, 78, 109- 
110; painting on, 57, 60; precious, 76, 
82; broken, to mend, 66 

Styles: see Drawing, silver point, etc. 


INDEX I4I 


Sugar, 100-101, 106 
Sulphur, 27, 101, 130 


Tablets, 4 

Tailors, 104, 108 

Tallow, 62 

Tambroni, Cavaliere Giuseppe, ix and 
passim 

Tanning, 108 

arenes 

Tarsias, 67 

Teeth; effect of cosmetics upon, 123; 
burnishers, 25 n, 82 

Temperas: amount to use, 51; diverse 
characters of, 20; effect of varnish on, 
99; egg white, 7, 79-80, 100-102, 
115; — and gum, 102; — and size, 
104; — and yolk, 121-122; — and 
yolk, with fig shoots, 51, 58; egg yolk, 
19, 33; 34; 36, 51, 87-89, 9I, 94, 107, 
121; — and size, 55, 118-119; fresco 
the strongest tempera, 44, 120; gum, 
7, 18, 102-103; — and egg white, 
102; insufficient, to correct, 68; oil, 58; 
—, for make-up, 122: see also Oil 
painting; size, 10, 29, 32-33, 36, 67, 
89, 91, 122; — and egg white, 104; 
— and egg yolk, 55, 118-119; var- 
nish, the strongest for make-up, 122; 
vinegar, 33; whole egg, 51, 58, 121- 
122 

Tempering, 3, 91, 104; inadequate, to 
remedy, 68. See Temperas 

Templets, 71 n, 128 

Terra gialla, 32n 

il'erre-verte Mo, W12,022; 053,150, (000821: 
character of, 30; for gilding, 22, 30, 
80; good for fresco, 50; modeling 
with, 45; occurrence of, 27; to grind, 
30; to remain visible in flesh, 46-47, 
94; to varnish, 122; underpainting for 
flesh, on panels, 93-95; —, on walls, 
45, 95; usefulness of, 30 

Theophilus Presbyter, 62 n 

Threads, cut, 89 

Tin, 69, 78, 101; gilded, 78; —, eco- 
nomical of gold, 63; golden, 60-63, 
89, 110; —, methods for making, 
61 n, 62; —, to cut, 61; —, to gild, 
61-62; green, 61; drawing style, 5 n, 
7; white, 60; —, to cut, 61; —, to 
make golden, 61 n, 62; yellow, 110 

Tinted paper, 9-12, 19; flesh color, 12; 
green, 9; greenish gray or drab, 12; 
indigo, 11; peach color, 12; turnsole 
color, 11 

Tip, 81 n, 112 

Topaz, 82 

Tourneys, 107-108 


Tow, 78, 109-110 

Tracing paper: to make, 13-14; to use, 
13 

Trees, 102; to paint, 56, 59 

Trumpet, 125 

Turnsole, 11, 53 

Tuscan gill (metadella = 497 cc.), 121 

Tuscany, 123 

Tweezers, 80, 115 


Ullmann, F., 39 n 

Ultramarine, 21, 33, 52, 92; — and gold, 
brocade of, 87; — and gold, esteemed 
combination, 36; — and silver, bro- 
cade of, 89; azurite underpainting for, 
55; character of, 36; drapery of, in 
secco, 51-52, 55; grading of, 38; 
grades of, to use, 93; imitation of, in 
secco, 52; manufacture of, 37-39; to 
color violet, 39; to grind, 39; to shade, 
55; to wash, 39; used in fresco, 53; — 
in oil, 113; value of, 38 

Uniforms, 108 


Varnish, xv, 3, 61-63, 66, 98, 104, 109- 
110, 116-118; action of, 99; applica- 
tion of, 98-99; —, to terre-verte, 122; 
for modeling, 78; for mordants, 58— 
59, 96; injures effect of gilding, 99, 
119; temporary substitute for, 99-100; 
tempera, for make-up, 122; to dry 
without sun, 99; waterproofing walls 
with, 121 

Vehicles: see Temperas 

Velvet, 89, 90-91; to paint and gild, 107 

Venice, 89 n 

Verdaccio, xv, 46-47, 49, 58, 94-96; 
composition of, 45, 55; for buildings, 
56 

Verdigris, 33, 66, 96, 117; gold brocade, 
88; ground in oil, 61, 88, 96, 113; 
mixtures of, 30, 33, 117; in mor- 
dants, 97; incompatible with white 
lead, 33; not good for fresco, 50 

Verjuice, 32 

Verkade, Willibrord, x, 83 n, 85n 

Vermeil, 61—62 

Vermilion, 9, 12, 88, 90, 91 n, 94-95, 
117; gold brocade, 86; grinding, 24; 
character of, 24; fugitive in fresco, 24, 
50; imitated on walls, 24; manufac- 
ture not described, 24; temperas for, 
24 

Verzino: see Brazil 

Vincent of Beauvais, 21 n 

Vinegar, 33, 117 

Violet, 9, 53, 92-93, 102; gold brocade, 
93; buildings, 56; for fresco, 52 

Violet (violante), xi, xii, 37 


142 THE CRAFTSMAN’S HANDBOOK 


Volcanoes, 28 

Volterra, 70 n, 126 n 

Wall painting, 57-58, 65. See also 
Fresco, Secco, Distemper 

Walls: damp, dangers of, 120; embel- 
lishments for, 77-78; plastered, to 
size, 121; to plaster reliefs on, 77; to 
prepare for oil painting, 58; to water- 
proof, 120-121 

Wash drawing: see Drawing 

Wash gold, 102 

Waste mold, to cast, 126-127 

Water colors: see Temperas, gum, Cloth- 
lets, Drawing 

Water gilding, 80-82. See also Bole, 
Gilding, Gold 

Water, to paint, 95-96 

Waterproofing: stone, for gesso, 118-119; 
walls, for fresco, 120-121 

Watin, Sieur, 63 n 

Waves, to paint, 95-96 

Wax, 13, 37,63, 66, 77 n, 129; sealing, 
127; to model with, 78 

Weather, influence of, on burnishing, 83; 
—, on fresco, 44; —, on gesso, 70, 
130; —, on gilding, 70, 83 

Weber, F. W., 119 n 

White found in earth near Colle, 27 

White lead, 9, 11-12, 18, 28 n, 33-34; 
36, 56, 66, 86-87, 91-97, 100-101, 
105-107, I17, 122; character of, 34; 


for secco, 51-52; incompatible with 
verdigris, 33; to select, 34; unsuitable 
for fresco, 50; — for walls, 34; washes 
of, 18-19 

Whitewashing, brush for, 41 

Whiting, 119 n 

Willow, 19, 69, 110 

Woad, 35 n 

Wolf’s teeth for burnishers, 82 

Wood: color of, 54; cracking of, to pre- 
vent, 69; figures, 100; — and leaves, 
69; glues for, 66-68 

Wood blocks: to carve, 116; to print, 116 

Wooden style, 87, 89 

Woods: birch, 87; box, 4; chestnut, 41; 
fig, 4; linden, 69, 87; male-oak, 118; 
maple, 41; nut, 41, 61, 110, 116; oak, 
118; pear, 61, 116; plum, 61; poplar, 
87; willow, 19, 69, 110 

Woodworkers, 68 

Woolen cloth: to paint, 90; to lay gold 
and silver on 

Working up: see Grinding 

Wounds, to paint, 95 

Writing: gold, 100-101; paper, 108; pen 
for, 8, 100 


Yellow: berries, 33 n; tin, 110. See Gial- 
lorino, Ocher, Orpiment, Realgar, Saf- 
fron 

York, Lewis E., 125 n 

Youthful faces, to paint, 42-47, 93-94 








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